“Swordfish” 1st June 2019

Before the Egyptian contingent get their first trip report in, I think it’s only fair the UK crew beat them to it.

So, a very early start to the day to be at Lymington. Ropes off at 07:45 to dive the submarine “Swordfish”. Viz in the solent looked great, then went to rats around the needles. As we steamed south, the viz came back again.

This wreck is very difficult to find, so being the first pair in, could have resulted in no dive for the rest of us. We hit the bottom only to find HMS Seabed. So Ian went off in one direction, and I prepared a reel. We stayed in torchlight comms, and had no joy. We then went right, and bingo, the wreck was about 12m away.

What followed can only be described as weight hopping. We lifted and shunted the shotline over a 2m tall reef, and parked it next to the hull. I sent up a marker, so that everyone would now find the wreck.

Ok, we landed virtually on the bow, which is laying on its port side. It has snapped off away from the hull by a few meters. We swam along the starboard side, under the conning tower, and down towards the stern. Passing lots of parts that have fallen from the sub, we got to the props. Both are still perfectly in place. The rudder is attached, along with the aft hydroplanes. Swimming under the props and out the other side, we went forward and up onto the hull. The conning tower is massive, and the compass binnacle is there. Aft of this is an open hatch, meaning the crew had definitely tried to make their escape. The top of the periscope is at 31m.

Moving forward, the split is obvious, and passed this the internals of the torpedo room is on view. Next the bow, but what a sight looking into three torpedo tubes, with all hatches shut. The guide rails are all in place, as are the hydroplanes, but sitting vertically.

Starting to head back to the conning tower, the tide had picked up, so it was time to go. DSMBs up, and a quick drift over the bow one more time. A nice ascent and a short deco of 20 mins.

What a cracking dive. 30 mins at 40m. Viz was 8m. 

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