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Most famous shipwrecks in new book

The wreck of HMS Port Napier which lies off Skye


From The Daily Record

More than 20 of the country’s sunken relics of the sea have been mapped by a diver then turned into undersea landscapes by an artist.

Rod Macdonald, one of the country’s best known divers, says the sea is revealing more details of the sunken ships as they erode.

He has surveyed and researched 25 lying in Scottish waters for his new book, Great British Shipwrecks.

Rod provides a dramatic account of the ships’ time afloat and their eventual sinking, with each wreck being illustrated by marine artist Robert Ward, of Muchalls, Aberdeenshire.

His journey starts with the famous shipwrecks at Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands – where the German fleet was scuttled in 1919.

Also included is the legendary WWI British cruiser HMS Hampshire, on which War Secretary Lord Kitchener perished on a voyage to Russia in 1916.

It rests in over 200 feet of water off Marwick Head to the north west of Orkney.

The famous West Coast shipwrecks ,such as the steamships Thesis, Hispania and Shuna, and cargo ship Rondo in the Sound of Mull are featured.

There are the renowned wrecks of the Dutch steamship SS Breda, lost near Oban in 1940, and the WWII minelayer HMS Port Napier off Skye.

Rod also reveals the haunting remains of HMS Pathfinder, the first Royal Navy warship to be sunk by a U-boat torpedo during WWI. It lies in the Forth.

Rod, 53 said: “The authorities at first attempted to cover up the true cause of the sinking.

“They feared the affect that knowledge of the loss of such a ship to a U-boat torpedo would have because it revealed just how vulnerable to torpedo attack British warships were.

“Pathfinder was thus reported, at first, to have been mined. The Admiralty came to an agreement with the Press Bureau, which allowed for the censoring of all reports.

But other newspapers soon published an eyewitness account from an Eyemouth fisherman who helped in the rescue and confirmed rumours a submarine had been responsible, rather than a mine.


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