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Mark Milburn’s Cornish Wreck Ramblings, Part 3: Falmouth’s Ghosts of the Great War

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At the end of the Great War, the Kaiser’s high seas fleet was interned at Scapa Flow, Orkney. Due to some miscommunication or maybe a lack of communication, Rear Admiral von Reuter ordered the scuttling of the entire fleet. Most were removed straight away, except some of the vessels that were in deeper water. The German U-Boats in UK waters went to Harwich to surrender, receiving various fates over the next few years. Some were dispatched to Falmouth. The exact reason why any were sent to Falmouth does not seem to be documented too well. There are also misleading reports about the actual number sent – somewhere between five and nine. One supposedly broke its tow near Dodman point and started taking on water, so they used it for a bit of target practice; apparently it was easier to sink it than try and restart the tow.

There are two U-Boats near Dodman Point, UB113 and UB118. UB113 was on patrol when lost according to official records, and UB118 was part of the convoy to Falmouth. The remaining U-Boats ended up moored in Falmouth Bay, awaiting whatever their fate would be. There are stories that a south easterly wind arrived and the U-Boats came adrift from their moorings. The large waves drove them onto the rocks. What we do know is that there are the remains of five left in the area.

Although the reason for the U-Boats being sent to Falmouth is not documented, it may well be that what happened to them once they arrived was the actual reason for their trip. Naval records within the National Archive state that they were used in experiments to test for weaknesses in their construction. A huge lifting rig, Cyklops, carried them out into deep water, lowering them down to the seabed. Cyklops moved away. Charges were set off at various places around the U-Boats, and the subs were then recovered and inspected for damage. This was repeated several times for each of the submarines. At the end of the tests, they were dropped off close to the rocks on Pendennis. Within the National Archive, there is a photo of UB86 and the stern of Cyklop, captioned “BEACHING U.B.86. STERN OF CYKLOP”. They were then manually hauled up onto the rocks below the castle. The official records did not state whether this happened over a period of a few years, or if it was just the one occurrence.

The official records stated that UB86, UB97, UB112, UB106, UB100, UB128 & UC92 arrived at Falmouth. So what is left now?

Over the years, many photos were taken of the submarines. Most offered no clues as to what they were. One photo, from an unknown source, shows a U-Boat in a gully, with its stern out of the water. On the side of the conning tower, it’s markings of UB86 are visible. Quite a bit of the submarine remains underwater. On a very low spring tide, some of it is visible from the surface.

A lot of contemporary photographs showed UB86 with another submarine close by. Within the records at Historic England, they have a collection of photographs, taken by a British Naval submariner at the time. They are of UB86 and the other submarine, and one of the photos shows the markings of that submarine as UB112. There are some remains of this submarine left, although most of it lies close to the sea bed. Divers notice a large three pronged fork, which is the highest point of the wreckage that remains. It is thought to be part of the hydrovane’s mechanism.

A little further east of these two wrecked submarines, there are remains of two more. Most of the time these lie hidden under the sand, only becoming exposed after some storms. These are virtually impossible to identify, although one may be UB106, according to an excerpt from the National Archive.

Wessex Archaeology spent two days in July 2013 investigating the Castle Beach site, taking photos etc. I assisted and even revisited to go and take a couple of extra measurements for their official record. There are six circular features near the shore end of the sub, measuring 1m in diameter and 9m from front of the first to the rear of the last. This was the last piece of data required to determine that it is in fact UC92. The six circular features are the mine shafts; UC92 was the only mine layer out of the six. Records state it was lifted in 1971 and scrapped, although it looks like it wasn’t lifted, just dragged up onto Castle Beach. The stern lies at 50.147027, -5.055695, the bow at 50.147299, -5.055984, and it is visible on Bing maps or Google maps. On a low spring tide, the bow is visible out of the water.

Over the years the Falmouth U-Boats have had a hard time. They were gradually broken up and salvaged. Whatever was left was then possibly flattened by George Renton in 1966/7. Contracted by the Navy or maybe by the Harbour Master, George did a fine job of flattening the remains.

Details within the National Archive “Explosive trials on German submarines: 1921“ ref:ADM 189/102, are held at the National Archives in Kew.

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Find out more about Mark and Atlantic Scuba at www.atlanticscuba.co.uk.

Mark Milburn is the owner of Atlantic Scuba in Falmouth, Cornwall, England, and is an SDI/TDI/NAS/RYA Instructor and a Commercial Boat Skipper. Although often referred to as a maritime archaeologist, he prefers to call himself a wreck hunter. Find out more about Mark and Atlantic Scuba by visiting www.atlanticscuba.co.uk.

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Join Pharaoh Dive Club for Red Sea Splash Family Summer Camp in August 2024

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family summer camp

3rd AUGUST 2024  – 1 or 2 WEEK PROGRAMMES

Daily water programme with Snorkelling & Scuba Diving.

Beginners or qualified, something for all.

Leave the kids with the Splash Team for days of Excitement, Fun & Adventure!

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BOOK NOW: INFO@PHARAOHDIVECLUB.COM / TEL: +44 7598 329059 or +20 100 6822000

There are various options for accommodation with options for 2, 3, 4 or 5 guests.

Eco Huts provide accommodation for families of up to 4. The best option to enhance the adventure and closest to camping with basic facilities. For August we will provide central air cooling for all the Eco Huts.

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Deluxe Chalets are only suitable for 2 guests. Fully air conditioned rooms with private bathroom and other facilities.

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Boutique Rooms are available for families of up to 5.
Individual bespoke rooms fully air conditioned with private bathroom and other facilities.

Eco Huts: £675 per adult / £425 per child / Under 8 FREE of charge
Deluxe Chalet: £830 per adult / £505 per child / Under 8 FREE of charge
Boutique Room: £925 per adult / £550 per child / Under 8 FREE of charge

BOOK NOW: INFO@PHARAOHDIVECLUB.COM / TEL: +44 7598 329059 or +20 100 6822000

This is a truly unique opportunity to have a Family Desert Adventure totally away from it all! You will be based at the remote Roots Red Sea on the coast of the Egyptian Eastern Desert, 140km south of Hurghada city.

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Red Sea Splash main focus is Snorkelling & Scuba Diving but that’s not all, we provide a rounded week of activities in support.

Pool& Field Games – Arts & Crafts
Marine Biology Workshops
Cultural Activities – Orienteering Adventures

Roots Red Sea have established strong links with the local communities of Hamerwain  & El Quseir affording our guests to have a true taste of the local culture, SPLASH CAMP embraces this opportunity and bring in the local children to join in the fun with our adventure seekers.

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During the day, families are welcome to take part in all activities together or the kids can be left with the SPLASH CAMP team while the parents enjoy the facilities or go diving themselves!

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At the end of the day, its family time while the SPLASH CAMP team take a break. For those with the energy, there are family evening activities planned a few evenings.

Open Air Movie Night – Desert Star Gazing Walk & Talk
El Quseir Evening City Tour

The second week is very special, we head off on the Big Blue for a liveaboard safari around Fury Shoals.

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BOOK NOW: INFO@PHARAOHDIVECLUB.COM / TEL: +44 7598 329059 or +20 100 6822000

U-8 Splash Club

Sadly we can’t offer Scuba Diving to the Splash Club but we can have lots of fun Snorkelling & Free Diving!

Splash Club includes:

Certified Snorkel Course – Marine ID Games – Intro to Free Diving
Arts & Craft Sessions – Adventure trails – Cultural Playtime – Pool Games

family summer camp

U-12 Explorer Club

In addition to an exciting snorkelling and Free Diving Programme in the Splash Club we can take you under the water on SCUBA to a whole new world of fun and wonder. If you are under 10 your first breath under water will be as a Bubblemaker and continue with daily Seal Team Missions. From 10 we will complete a Discover Scuba Diving experience in the amazing Red Sea. Alternatively we offer a full junior certification programme to become an international qualified Scuba Diver.

family summer camp

U-16 Adventurer Club

For qualified Scuba Divers regardless of age it’s the Adventurer Club and exploration of the local reefs and marine life. There will be 2 dives every day with the Open Ocean marine field station team who will introduce you to Red Sea marine life and workshops on marine research. Alternatively there are opportunities to continue your scuba diving certifications with our instructional team.

family summer camp

Parents are welcome to join the club activities and join the courses.

BOOK NOW: INFO@PHARAOHDIVECLUB.COM / TEL: +44 7598 329059 or +20 100 6822000

Big Blue might seem like the new kid on the block, but the team behind the highly acclaimed liveaboard is far from that. They have been running Red Sea safaris since the late 1980’s and were in fact part of the early pioneers who ventured out to the unknown on vessels that in today’s world, really shouldn’t have left the harbour! It’s that experience and the years of operating the award-winning Roots Red Sea resort which truly set Big Blue apart from the crowd!

family summer camp

Large lounge area, spacious sun deck and terrace deck.

family summer camp

Airy restaurant with five tables with up to six chairs per table, serving a varied and delicious menu with special dietary requirements catered for.

family summer camp

The spacious cabins have side by side beds and a large walk in wet bathroom.

family summer camp

Ample dive deck for divers & snorkelers.

family summer camp

Safety is everyone’s priority, whether you are relaxing on board, swimming, snorkelling  or diving.

On board Big Blue is fitted with smoke alarms, emergency lighting and a fire alarm system. The lower corridor has a full-size door fire exit at the bow and open stairs to the stern. There are evacuation plans in each room along with life jackets, glass breaker tool and a fire extinguisher.

BOOK NOW: INFO@PHARAOHDIVECLUB.COM / TEL: +44 7598 329059 or +20 100 6822000

Red Sea Splash at Fury Shoals is a very rare opportunity to get involved with marine biology expedition for children and adults. Open Ocean biologists are on board to provide fascinating and entertaining facts about the marine life you will see. The team will provide workshops on marine life identification and survey methods both of which, should you wish, you will have the chance to put into practice during your safari.

family summer camp

The week is open to snorkelers, scuba divers and non divers too!

Fury shoals is perfect for first time mariners as it offers plenty of protection from the weather.

We board at Port Ghaleb on Saturday evening and prepare to set sail early on Sunday morning.

family summer camp

Heading south, our first day will be diving the reefs of Abu Dabbab before sailing overnight to reach our ultimate destination the Fury Shoals.

Here we will spend four days swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving amazing reefs. This includes guaranteed DOLPHIN encounters at Sataya Reef!  After the last dive we haul anchor and head back to Abu Dabbab for our final two dives before disembarking our boat BIG BLUE.

family summer camp

Camp Extension Cost*
Adult £650 per adult
Under 16 £350 per child

BOOK NOW: INFO@PHARAOHDIVECLUB.COM / TEL: +44 7598 329059 or +20 100 6822000

FURTHER INFORMATION – INFO@PHARAOHDIVECLUB.COM

TEL: +44 7598 329059 or +20 100 6822000

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Meet Pure Dive Resort: Your Gateway to Unforgettable Diving in Bali, Indonesia

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bali

If you’re passionate about the underwater world, listen up! We’ve got an incredible opportunity for you to experience the vibrant reefs and majestic marine life of Nusa Penida, Bali, Indonesia.

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info@purediveresort.com / +62 811 3999852 / www.purediveresort.com

Pure Dive Resort isn’t just another dive centre; it’s a team of experts dedicated to providing world-class scuba diving and freediving adventures around Nusa Penida, Lembongan, Ceningan, and even Bali.

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info@purediveresort.com / +62 811 3999852 / www.purediveresort.com

Whether you’re a seasoned diver or completely new to the sport, Pure Dive Resort has something for you:

For certified Divers: Discover stunning dive sites, encounter manta rays, seasonal mola-mola (sunfish), and a dazzling array of marine life.

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For beginners: Embark on your scuba journey with beginner programs like Try Scuba and Basic Diver, Open Water and Advanced certifications.

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Freedivers: Explore the depths on a single breath with guided freediving experiences and courses.

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Exclusive Scubaverse Offer: Save on Your Next Adventure

As a valued Scubaverse follower, you get an exclusive 10% discount on any Dive & Stay or Learn & Stay package booked at Pure Dive Resort for 2024. Dive into the crystal-clear waters, explore breath-taking reefs, and create unforgettable memories in this diver’s paradise.

Visit https://www.purediveresort.com/package-offers/ to explore amazing packages and claim your discount with the code: SCUBAVERSE10

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info@purediveresort.com / +62 811 3999852 / www.purediveresort.com

Ready to make a splash?

See you in Nusa Penida!

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Experience the Red Sea in May with Bella Eriny Liveaboard! As the weather warms up, there’s no better time to dive into the crystal clear waters of the Red Sea. Join us on Bella Eriny, your premier choice for Red Sea liveaboards, this May for an unforgettable underwater adventure. Explore vibrant marine life and stunning coral reefs Enjoy comfortable accommodation in our spacious cabins Savor delicious meals prepared by our onboard chef Benefit from the expertise of our professional dive guides Visit our website for more information and to secure your spot: www.scubatravel.com/BellaEriny or call 01483 411590 More Less

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