SS Rota Wreck in Lyme Bay
The Rota was a 300ft steamer torpedoed by UB 40 now lying 7 miles SE of Berry Head in 48m of water with the shallowest point being 36m. A superb technical / deep dive, but can be dark!
Dive Site Name: Rota Dive Type: Wreck Dive
Max Depth Seabed: 48m Depth to top of Wreck: 36m
Approximate Position: 50 24 98N 003,18.92W
Tonnage: 2171tonnes Length: 94.6m Cargo: Iron Ore
Date Lost: 22/07/1917 How Lost: Torpedoed UB 40
Minimum Qualification: Deep / Technical Diver (Or Equivilent)
SS Rota was built by Dunlop Bremner & Co. Ltd. Port of Glasgow yard#285 and launched on the 10th February 1915. She was originally owned by a Danish firm Dansk-Russiske D/S (Dampskibs-Selskab = Steamship Company) Copenhagen and at the time of her sinking was operated by Furness, Withy & Co. Ltd., London (requisition). The SS Rota was a British steamer of 2171 tons.
On July 22nd, 1917 the SS Rota was on passage from Benisaf (Algeria) to Middlesbrough with a cargo of iron ore. She was spotted by UB-40 commander Oberleutnanant Hans Howaldt 7 miles SE of Berry Head. Howaldt had already sunk the Salsette 2 days previously and had been heavily depth charged and tracked by surface vessels.
Although she was aremd defensively with a stern gun (stll present) she did not stand a chance when she was torpedoed by UB-40. She was hit on the starboard side between the bridge and the bows, the ROta sank quickly with the loss of 5 lives including the master.
She lays in 48m of water although we have had over 50m recorded in the scour. She is reasonably intact and is upright on the seabed.