The official website of the British Royal Navy has reported that researchers have found the wreck of the ship HMS Jason, which sank in 1917.
In April 1917, a Royal Navy torpedo destroyer struck the mine and sank near the island of Coll. Since then, the shipwreck of HMS Jason has rested undiscovered on the seabed off the coast of Scotland for 105 years.
Explorers have spent five years researching and searching for this World War I shipwreck. Final resting place HMS Jason investigators determined using precision sonar. The dive team then descended to the bottom at the selected position to perform a visual inspection and create photo-video documentation.
During a challenging dive, the dive team reached the wreck, which is located at a depth of 93m. As it turned out, the freezing waters of the Hebridean Sea were kind to the wreck, which is in very good condition. Admittedly, the bow section, which broke off after a mine explosion, is missing, but the rest looks very good. This fact surprised the researchers, because we are talking about a ship whose wreck spent as many as 105 years under water.
Unfortunately, at a depth of 93 metres, the divers only had 20 minutes to explore the wreck. After this time they had to return to the surface with the collected material. Fortunately, the divers did a great job and today we can all see the wreck of HMS Jason. In the short time the divers spent underwater, they found a distinctive propeller, two 4.7-inch guns and admiralty vessels.
The considerable depth, the difficult weather conditions, the undulating seabed and the fact that diving is only possible at certain times of the year meant that the wreck was not found earlier. Although, interestingly, its contemporaries documented the moment of sinking very precisely and even took a photograph.
Historians Wndy Sadler and Kevin Heath of Lost in Water Deep are behind the finding and identification of the wreck of HMS Jason. The underwater part of the search was carried out by a group of divers from SULA Diving of Orkney led by Steve Mortimer.
The warship HMS Jason left the shipyard in 1892 as a torpedo boat and entered service with the Royal Navy. During World War I she was converted into a makeshift minesweeper and ironically ran into a mine set by the German submarine U-78. The whole incident resulted in the deaths of 25 British Royal Navy sailors.
Since 25 sailors died on board HMS Jason, the wreck will soon be protected as a war grave. It is worth noting, however, that under British law this does not entail a ban on diving. The wreck will be able to be visited by divers as a memorial, but without the possibility of exploring the interior or touching its remains.
Orkney-based diving group SULA Diving have announced that they plan to return to the wreck and carry out further dives in the near future. Their aim is to create accurate documentation to preserve the memory of the ship and its crew.
Without doubt, the Donegal coast has become synonymous with wreck diving for divers. Among others due to the wreck of the SS Empire Heritage, about which we wrote in the 17th issue. the DIVERS24 quarterly magazine! The digital version of the magazine is available free of charge, while the printed version can be purchased from our online shop.
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