Thursday, May 05, 2005


No stone left unturned as divers carry out survey of steamer's wreck


This is North Scotland
May 03, 2005

A Group of amateur divers has carried out the first full survey of the wreck of a steamer which foundered off Scotland's north coast 75 years ago. All 29 aboard the 3,175-tonne Linkmoor were rescued after being dramatically winched to safety by breeches buoy.

The British cargo ship, which had sailed from Liverpool, was driven inshore and wrecked on rocks, just west of Scarfskerry harbour on the Caithness coast in November 1930. The wreck has been regularly visited by divers, but up until now no detailed survey had been carried out.

The initiative has been undertaken by Caithness Diving Club as part of its plans to record for posterity some of the many casualties which lie off the county's two coasts. The Linkmoor is the first project it embarked upon after a group of nine club members attended a weekend course in Wick held by the Nautical Archaeological Society a fortnight ago.

As part of the course, the club intended to survey an ammunition ship which sank off Wick. But adverse weather led to them diverting their attention to the Linkmoor.

The vessel has largely broken up, though at low tide part of her engine can be seen jutting out of the water. The engine and drive shaft are easily discernible on the seabed about 25 metres off the end of the pier while her rudder is wedged against rocks at the eastern end of the wreck. Other parts of the wreckage litter a wide area of the seabed.

CDC training officer Bruce Manson said yesterday that, while the Linkmoor may not be a particularly historic vessel, it is important that her final resting place is documented.

He said: "It was a bog-standard steamer of its time but it's going to get to the point where it will rust away completely. At least, when that happens, there will be drawings and detailed measurements of the wreck."

The sketch plan is to be part of a report on the Linkmoor which the club will send to the NAS.


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