North Co. Donegal Wreck List
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Vessel Type:


Location:Co. Donegal
Date of Loss:23rd January 1917Place:Mouth of Lough Swilly
Cause of Loss:MinedBoat Dive from:Port Salon
Charted Depth:41.8mIrish O.S. Map:Discovery Series No. 2 & 3
Height of Wreck:ScatteredAdmiralty Chart No:2697 and/or 2811
Hull Material:SteelLatitude (GPS):55° 18' 14.52" North
Type of Seabed:Stones and shaleLongitude (GPS):07° 35' 27.84" West
Average Visibility:15 - 20mConvert Lat. & Long. to -Decimal - CLICK HERE
Image available?Yes - see below Diving Experience:Experienced
Diving Information:      
  • Badly broken up and scattered over a wide area.
  • Bow is detached and partly collapsed.
  • Holes in the hull from the explosion, and from the salvage attempts, can be seen.
  • Boilers are 5m high.
  • Wreck is now owned by people in England, and diving on her privately is, officially, illegal.
  • Previously, the best place to launch from was Port Salon.
  • Marks or transits are currently not known.
  • An ideal scooter dive.
  • Dive High Water Belfast - 5.5 hours.
  • Note!! Permission is required to dive this wreck.
Historical Information:
  • Owned by the White Star Line, she was built in 1908 by Harland & Wolff, Belfast.
  • Weighing 14,892 gross tons, she measured 550.4 x 67.3 x 41.2ft., and was powered by two 3-cylinder triple-expansion turbine engines, generating 11,000 IHP giving a maximum speed of 18 knots.
  • Commanded by Captain R.A. Norton, she struck a mine one hour after leaving Buncrana and sank in 45 mins, while acting as an armed merchant cruiser.
  • Fifty-two officers and 316 ratings were saved.
  • On board were 3,211 gold ingots each weighing 40lb.
  • During the next 7 years and 7,000 dives, 3,189 ingots were recovered, leaving 22 (maybe) unaccounted for.
  • There were no serious cases of the "bends" during those 7,000 dives.
  • Her ships bell resides in the Protestant Church at Port Salon.
  • One of her guns was salvaged by local divers and put on display on the pier at Downings Harbour.

R.M.S. Laurentic

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R.M.S. Laurentic

© by kind permission of lostliners web site

R.M.S. Laurentic

© by kind permission of BÝrge Solem and Trond Austheim of norway heritage web site

Click HERE for INFOMAR* Side-Scan image
Source Publications:
"Dictionary of Disasters at Sea during the Age of Steam 1824 - 1962"
Charles Hocking
London Stamp Exchange 1989 - ISBN: 0948130474
"Dive" Magazine article
Rich Stevenson (March 2001)
"Donegal, An Exploration"
J.J. Tohill
Donegal Democrat Ltd 1976
"Great Passenger Ships of the World"
Arnold Kludas
"Scuba" Magazine article
Darren McDonagh (November 2016)
"Shipwreck Index of Ireland"
Richard & Bridget Larn
Lloyd's Register - Fairplay Ltd 2002 - ISBN: 1900839970
"Shipwrecks of the Irish Coast 932 - 1997"
Dr. Edward J. Bourke
Edward J. Bourke 1998 - ISBN: 0952302713
"Shipwrecks of the Irish Coast 1105 – 1993"
Dr. Edward J. Bourke
Edward J. Bourke 1994 - ISBN: 0952302705
"Shipwrecks of the Irish Coast 1582 - 2000"
Dr. Edward J. Bourke
Edward J. Bourke 2000 - ISBN: 0952302721
Other Sources:
*source - Geological Survey of Ireland
Internet (2020)
Rob Betz
- (2002)
Vic Foster
Castlereagh SAC (1996)
Royal Navy
Hydrographic Department (1970)

North Co. Donegal Wreck List

Last update - 13-Nov-2020

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