The Chateau Yquem is a stunning dive in the middle of Lyme Bay although laying in 47m of water with an intact Bow section standing well proud of the seabed! Described as a "stunning dive".
Dive Site Name: Chateau Yquem Dive Type: Wreck Dive
Max Depth Seabed: 47m Depth to top of Wreck: 38m
Approximate Position: 50.29.15N 02,59.05W
Tonnage: 1913tonnes Length: 85.44m Cargo: Ballast
Date Lost: 30/06/1917 How Lost: Torpedoed UB 40
Minimum Qualification: PADI Tec 50 / Technical Diver (Or Equivilent)
The Chateau Yquem was built in 1914 in Nantes, France by Ateliers & Chantiers de la Loire (Nantes) – Yard No 479. She was in Ballast on passage from Dunkirk to Barry when she was sunk by a Torpedo from the UB -40.
The Master was below having a 10 minute break of watch for his dinner when an explosion shook the stern of the vessel. The master realised that the Chateau Yquem was sinking quickly and ordered the lifeboats to be launched. 5 crew were wounded, 1 seriously. One man, a gunner, was missing presumed dead as the explosion was near the rear mounted gun. The Chateau Yquem sank within 10 minutes with all but 1 of the crew being picked up by a patrolling torpedo boat and taken to Portsmouth.
The wreck is still fairly intact although she is broken amidships. Described by divers as a "Cracking Dive!" Little aditional history is know however below is a picture of her sister ship, "Chateau Latour"
As a note from some of our research and articles that we have found. THere is a note that Torpedo boat #81 swept the area looking for the submarine UB-40. However the search was hindered when the cables kept snagging on another wreck. This was noted as a Norwegian steamer sunk earlier. The only vessel that would fit this description was the Borgund 1 sunk on the same day. We believe that we may have located this vessel whilst steaming to the Isbjorn a few years ago!!