Rib Dive on SS Upminster – 27 metres (low water)
Saturday 8 June 2013
Dive Report Marcus Walker
Divers: Marcus Walker, Darren Grey, Craig Lindley, Geoff Elsthorpe, Andy Keys
First sea dive of the year for the club, mostly down to the spring weather conditions. Arriving at Hornsea at 10am the sea still looked a tad mucky and we were not overly optimistic having been told that viz had recently improved from zero to 2 metres! Still after displaying my shiny new serviced kit and reinforcing the importance of proper kit maintenance I gaffer taped up the wrist seal on my dry suit and we headed out on Darren's boat.
After a steady ride out and being treated to some of Geoff's engine crunching antics with the throttle the jammy beggar found the wreck first time.
My second time on the Upminster and its still a good little wreck. At 75 meters in length, beam of just over 12 metres and draught of 5.61 metres it still sits 4 metres proud of sea bed and engine blocks a few metres high. Built in 1916 she sank on 2 May 1928 when she was involved in a collision with the 1,283 Lanrick. It seems she was a bit cob-handed because was involved in another collision 11 years earlier on 8 December, 1917 when she collided with and sank the Dryade.
Geoff, Andy and me were the first to throw ourselves into the murky depths. As usual it got pretty mucky at 15 meters but gradually opened up to give us a good 4 metres viz (or maybe I eat too many carrots) on the bottom.
The shot line was around 10 metres from the engines and after making our way to the bow we as usual lost Geoff but unusually located him again. Absolutely no life on the ship other than a few small crabs and a couple of Wrasse. the cold spring has resulted in lobsters and crabs remaining in deeper North Sea waters.
After racking up a few minutes of decompression we made our way back up the shot line and onto the rib. Disaster almost struck on the second dive wave. During kitting up, Craig had one of his regulators free flowed with a damaged o-ring - tut, tut - maintenance is everything! This problem was then compounded after forgetting that his twin-set was manifolded so opting to dive on a single 10 litre the second dive was a much shorter adventure.
Good dive and a relief to get back in the sea again.
Marcus Walker, Diving Officer, 8 June 2013