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Victorian yacht wreck

In late July 2011 I spotted an interesting wreck while analysing sonar imagery from the bathymetric survey I had conducted the previous day near Oughterard on Lough Corrib. I sent the images to the Underwater Archaeological Unit and the National Museum of Ireland to see if they could identify it.

 

There was quite a lot of excitement - the team arrived in mid August (Sunday 21st) and dived on the wreck, taking photos, making videos and collecting samples of nails and rigging.

 

While we were all hoping for something a little more "historic" the wreck turned out to be that of a beautifully constructed late Victorian pleasure yacht, the kind used for racing on the lake in the late 1800's and early 1900's. There is a picture of a similar yacht on p58 of the book "Reflections on Lough Corrib" by Maurice Semple.

 

The sidescan sonar data determined that she was approx 32ft long - accurate measurements underwater revealed exactly that - 32ft (9.8m). She would have had a bowsprit, making her even longer, this was missing, but the fittings for it are very clear on the imagery.

 

She also had a long overhanging stern, a vertical stempost, and a beautifully shaped carvel built hull with a lined cockpit.

 

The correlation between the high resolution sidescan imagery, and what was actually found, is remarkable.

 

More sidescan imagery, including latest Corrib wreck finds can be seen here

 

The wreck is now protected. A licence is required to dive it.

Lengthways scan - uncorrected for speed compression . T Northage
By: Jimmy Lenehan, Underwater Archaeology Unit
By:Jimmy Lenehan, Underwater Archaeology Unit
By:Jimmy Lenehan, Underwater Archaeology Unit
By:Jimmy Lenehan, Underwater Archaeology Unit
By:Jimmy Lenehan, Underwater Archaeology Unit
By:Jimmy Lenehan, Underwater Archaeology Unit
By: Connie Kelleher, Underwater Archaeology Unit