Gone But Not Forgotten.


Late last week a tanker in Weymouth Bay managed to snag a torpedo on its anchor. Royal Navy divers from the Southern Diving Unit dealt with the problem torpedo and a link to the full story is here.

The torpedo in question is almost certainly one of Grahame Knott’s Deeper Dorset finds. The torpedo turned up while searching for the documented loss of HMS Pembroke that sank in 1667.

Image © Grahame Knott
Screen grab of sonar marks (left) and search area (right). Part of the hunt for HMS Pembroke. The torpedo is visible as a long, thin dark shadow close to the mark P14.

The Torpedo

Before the anchor snagged and pulled it from its resting place the torpedo looked like this:

We do report any live finds to the Coastguard but as this torpedo lacked a warhead it was scanned and logged. No need to bother the Royal Navy with inert weapons. Clearly this was not from HMS Pembroke so the search for that ship continues. In the meantime here’s a DEM of the site looked:

Digital Elevation Model showing relative depth of water over the site – blue is deeper, red shallow

Hidden Heritage

Weymouth Bay is littered with historical remains. But they are out of sight and hidden and whilst Grahame knows where sites dating from the English Civil War  (see The Brandy Wreck) and later conflicts (see the P47-D crash site) are there is more to find and record. Grahame and Deeper Dorset crew are funding all of this out of their own pockets and that has a very finite limit. We do it because we love our maritime history and seeing anchors and trawls pull apart sites before we record them is very frustrating. This time it was a torpedo. Next time it could be the remains of HMS Pembroke. Do we really want to have our maritime heritage trashed?

In the meantime the Brandy Wreck has been geo referenced:

Iron cannon and anchors dating from English Civil War era in Weymouth Bay

Could this be the remains of HMS Pembroke? Only time will tell.