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Identity crisis

Appeared in DIVER July 2009

The attraction of wrecks to divers is often enhanced by a glamorous back-story. What happens, however, when a wreck is known to be historically significant, but its name is forgotten? A Channel ghost ship proves irresistible for Leigh Bishop

Long keel-pins exposed but still secure on the starboard bow
Long keel-pins exposed but still secure on the starboard bow
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  • A sketch of the wreck drawn by Leigh Bishop
    A sketch of the wreck drawn by Leigh Bishop
  • this old chart shows the area where the wreck was lost
    this old chart shows the area where the wreck was lost
  • Weymouth skipper Graham Knott originally located the wreck
    Weymouth skipper Graham Knott originally located the wreck
  • furnace bricks that made up either cargo or ballast
    furnace bricks that made up either cargo or ballast
  • putting scale to the upright intact anchor at the port bow
    putting scale to the upright intact anchor at the port bow
  • rolled steel hawsers that form part of the mysterious cargo
    rolled steel hawsers that form part of the mysterious cargo
  • Loose keel-pins have collapsed from the main construction
    Loose keel-pins have collapsed from the main construction
  • Alan Dunster on the port bow
    Alan Dunster on the port bow
  • remnants of the construction are visible around the amidships section
    remnants of the construction are visible around the amidships section
  • a plate recovered from the wreck
    a plate recovered from the wreck
  • this Staffordshire Volunteer belt-buckle gave the divers hope of an identity
    this Staffordshire Volunteer belt-buckle gave the divers hope of an identity
  • Bottles lie all round the wreck site
    Bottles lie all round the wreck site
  • remains of the timber hull at the stern

    remains of the timber hull at the stern

  • divers prepare to leave Weymouth aboard Wey Chieftain II during the early days of exploration
    divers prepare to leave Weymouth aboard Wey Chieftain II during the early days of exploration

  • artefacts recovered from the wreck site, including musket shot

    artefacts recovered from the wreck site, including musket shot

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