KendallQ

Kendall McDonald, a former Fleet Street editor, has been diving (and writing about it) for more than 45 years. He has been DIVERs wreck expert since 1960.
LURE OF THE GOLDEN MOUSETRAP 
Do you have any information or a GPS location for the wreck of the Tubantia
Steve, London


Sounds like treasure-hunting to me. The 13,911 ton Tubantia of the Royal Holland Lloyd line was torpedoed by UB-13 on 16 March, 1916, four miles east-north-east of the North Hinder Lightship. She sank four hours later, after Dutch torpedo boats had taken off all on board.
In 1922 Germany paid£800,000 compensation to the owners. A month later the first salvagers, an Anglo-French team, started work. No 4 hold seemed to be the target and they blasted their way into it, which was odd because all it contained was some 300 Dutch cheeses.
Even odder, that July an Italian diving ship also arrived and went for No 4 hold. Stranger still, another British salvage attempt began in 1931 - on guess which hold. When they had no luck, the attraction of No 4 hold leaked out - the cheeses were said to be stuffed with smuggled German gold!
No one has found any gold, but if you like waterlogged cheese, Steve, the GPS position is 51 46.00N; 02 45.00E. The wreck is in 37m.
Should have been there earlier 
Can you give me any information about the ss Elingamite, shipwrecked in New Zealand
Cheryl Tapwall, Australia


Treasure-hunting dreams again, no doubt, but I fear too late. This 2580 ton steamer was on her way from Sydney to Auckland in fog at half-speed on the morning of 9 November, 1902, when she ran into the cliffs of West King Island off the north tip of New Zealand. Forty-five of 194 aboard were lost.
The ship was carrying£17,320 in coin - 6000 gold half-sovereigns in four wooden boxes, and 48 other boxes with silver half-crowns, two-shilling pieces and shillings. Six salvage attempts raised£4000, though three divers died of the bends between 1908 and 1911 while working in 46m. The wreck was declared Òtoo dangerousÓ.
However, scuba divers led by Kelvin Tarlton and Wade Doak dived the site in 1965 and found wreckage scattered over several acres of rock and sand, and some coins. They returned the next year and recovered more gold and silver, and in 1967-68 lifted 8000 coins. The Elingamite Syndicate, as they called themselves, purchased the wreck in 1969 after lifting more than 12,000 coins and the bronze propeller. The rest of the coins are, they say, buried under rocks or scattered singly over a huge area.
Find out more in Doaks book The Elingamite and her Treasure, published in 1969 by Hodder and Stoughton.


Rammed Lancer 
Can you give me any historical detail about Lancer II off Newhaven
Chris Pascoe, Sussex


Lancer II was an Admiralty trawler of 275 tons which was heading for Newhaven on 18 July, 1918, when she was rammed by HM Yacht Vagrant off the Brighton Light Vessel. Vagrant took Lancer in tow but she sank soon after at 50 44.17N; 00 01.15E in 21m.

In search of Capn Ted 
Whatever happened to Australian wreck-hunter Captain Ted Falcon Barker
Derek, Devon


Ted Falcon-Barker skippered a diving yacht in the Mediterranean in the late 1950s and discovered a Roman galley close to Ibiza. This was the subject of his first book in 1960, 1600 Years Under the Sea. He became quite a star in British diving circles.
Many Brits dived with him in the Med including, as you can see from the picture, former Doctor Who actor Jon Pertwee. Barker is on the right - Belle Barker is the diver between them.
Ted then moved to the Bahamas and discovered the Spanish treasure ship Nuestra Senora de Concepcion, which gave him the material for Devils Gold, published in 1962. After that I have no further news of him. Are you out there, Ted A lot of diving wrinklies would like to hear from you.

Where was I 
I dived the Pentyrch recently. Can you give me the full position for my dive log
Miles, Greenwich


This 3382-ton British steamer, torpedoed by UB-40 on 18 April, 1918, is known as the Six-Miler because of the wrecks distance from Shoreham, Sussex. It is at 50 43.37N; 00 15.72W.
Office still open 
I want to research the ownership of a British wartime shipwreck. Does the Department of Transport Shipping Policy still exist
John Tynan, Waterford, Ireland


Write to the Dept of Transport (War Risk Insurance Office), Room P1/085, 2 Marsham Street, London SW1P 3EB. Tel: 0207 276 5604.
Liverpool scene 
Do you know the exact positions of the Liverpool and La Plata , which collided off Anglesey in January, 1863
Keith Sayle, Liverpool


Sorry, I cant help you much here. The Liverpool, a 480 ton steamer, collided in the dark with La Plata, a sailing barque of 275 tons, off North Wales. The Liverpool was hit port side amidships and started sinking at once. La Plata stove in most of her foreparts but stayed afloat until morning, when the crew were forced to abandon her.
The best I can do by way of a position is for the Liverpool, which reported herself as sinking one-and-a-half miles north-north-west of Port Lynas, Anglesey. However, I am told that some Welsh divers have found both wrecks. Can anyone confirm this

Does this ring a bell  

 In the Top 100 UK Wrecks in Diver last year, you said that the bell of the Shirala is still on the wreck, but I read in a book on Sussex shipwrecks that it was removed before she sank and is at the Gurkha recruiting station in Darjeeling. Can you shed any light
J Ward, Worthing


The Darjeeling bell is not from the 1918 Sussex wreck, but is another one presented to the Gurkhas when the second Shirala, a troopship, was taken out of service in 1951. There were reports that the first Shiralas big bell was taken off in the hour before she sank, but it remains there, somewhere towards the bow.
The 5306 ton liner lies five miles outside Littlehampton in 24m and was heading for India when sunk by a U-boat in 1918. Salvage began 60 years later, though diamonds reported to be aboard were never found.

Ask me that one again 
Do you know if anyone has published a database of wrecks off the Sussex, Hampshire and Dorset coastlines
Jonathan Kemp


That was what Jonathan asked me in the June Q & A. I pointed him to the Diver Guide series, though confessing that as author of some of them I was probably biased.
No sooner was Diver out than I had a stern letter from Richard Larn, calling me biased and unhelpful. He enclosed a letter for Jonathan pointing out that Vol 1 of his Lloyds Shipwreck Index of the British Isles covers 830 shipwrecks on the Dorset coast and Vol 2 another mass of wrecks in Sussex and Hants.
I have passed his letter to Jonathan. Am I not helpful and unbiased