Bretagne Wreck Dive in Torbay / Lyme Bay
Our most popular wreck, SS Bretagne is easily accessible and everyone loves to dive it. Although listed as a World War One wreck, the Bretagne was actually sunk by a collision in fog on 10 August 1918.
Dive Site Name: SS Bretagne Dive Type: Wreck Dive
Max Depth Seabed: 30m Depth to top of Wreck: 22m
Approximate Position: 50,29.37N 003,22.37W
Tonnage: 1438tonnes Length: 70.59m Cargo: Coal
Date Lost: 10/081918 How Lost: Collision
Minimum Qualification: PADI Advanced Open Water Diver (Or Equivilent)
SS Bretagne was built in 1903 (Launched 11/3/1903) in Christiania, Oslo, by Fred Olsen. She was the first of 5 vessels carrying the name Breatgne by Fred Olsen http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/lines/fredolsen.htm.
The SS Bretagne was transporting her cargo of coal from Barry, Wales to Rouen, France. SHe was travelling east in thick fog off Teignmouth when she was in collision with the French steamer Renee Marthe at 10:30 hrs. The Bretagne was struck near her stern on the starboard side. This caused the Renee Marthe's bow to collapse! A passing fishing boat managed to come longside the Bretagne taking most of the crew off her and began to tow her to land but unfortuntaely she continued to take water. The 3 men left on board for the tow, the Capt. the 1st mate, Harry Watterson and the RN gunner, Richard Pym went to abandon ship however the 1st mate went back on board and below to collect some money from his cabin, she nose-dived to the seabed, with the loss of 1 life. She is upright and and quite well preserved.
In recent years the Bretagne has deteriorated as the collision damge has been extended by winter storms however she is still mainly in tact and upright on the seabed with a prolific covering of marine lifeand some access points for penetration, if you have the skills and kit! She is owned by British Aerospace Sub Aqua Club and is dived regularly from Teignmouth on Seaquest.
If you want to see how she is looking in 2014 there is a video at the bottom of this page!