The Bothal was sunk off Wick after coming to the aid of survivors from another Danish vessel, the Viking, which had been torpedoed by the same submarine, U-19. The wreck lay undived until located by Andy Cuthbertson, skipper of the Scapa Flow-based Jean Elaine, after a tip-off from local fishermen.
Divers alighted on the deck at 63m. Its a large wreck, lying upright. Much of the bridge section has been swept back over the boilers and midships are a real mess, team leader Steve Brown told Divernet. We didnt find a break, but from the sounder, the wreck appears to be broken in two.
Brown located a makers plate, marked Ferguson Bros; Port Glasgow. It bore a unique number which provided positive identification of the wreck. The plate was raised and is being declared to the Receiver of Wreck.The team has reported the wrecks position to the Royal Navys Hydrographic Office which, along with wreck books, had put the wreck over two miles away from its true position.
This part of the North Sea is largely unsurveyed, and much of the published information is speculative, Cuthbertson told Divernet. Only by diving the marks that we find can we verify whats down there. The dive team was made up of Steve Brown, Paul Mee, Elaine Hamill, Louise Trewavas, Mark Brill, Andy Sagar, Steve Bolton and Andy Briggs.