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War Knight


War Knight
 
War Knight  
Dive Category Wreck
Dive Type Band 45
Max. depth: 14 (M)
Trip Time: 4H :00M

Max Depth - 14m
Tonnage - 7951
Length - 410
Date sunk - 24 March 1918
Type of vessel - Steam ship
How sunk - Collision, mined & Gunfire
Former names - Southerner
Wreck height - 6m

While in a large convoy (NH53) from New York to London with a cargo of fuel oil, general cargo, foodstuff, bales of rubber and drums of chemicals she collided with the tanker O B Jennings after the convoy split into two groups. The impact ruptured the tanks of the O B Jennings and her cargo of naptha instantly incinerating the men on the War knights deck. Only 7 of her 47 crew survived. The next morning a Portsmouth Tug took the burning ship through the remnants of a mine field laid down by UC-17 despite being advised not to do so. Two mines exploded under the War Knight and a third exploding on the tow line. She was beached at Watcombe bay and sunk by gunfire to extinguish the flames.

The wreck is a large one, but only her 3 boilers stand more than a few metres high. She was extensively salvaged in the 1960s. She makes a good second dive if in the area, although visibility can be an issue.

More information can be seen here.