SS W.H.Dwyer Wreck in Lyme Bay
The Wh Dwyer is a 250ft long wreck sunk in 1913 by Torpedo approx 15 miles Ne of Berry Head, now laying in 58m of water. A great technical deep dive!
Dive Site Name: WH Dwyer Dive Type: Wreck Dive
Max Depth Seabed: 58m Depth to top of Wreck: 47m
Approximate Position: 50,21.068N 003,06.000W
Tonnage: 1770tonnes Length: 250ft Cargo: Ballast
Date Lost: 26/8/1917 How Lost: Torpedoed UB 38
Minimum Qualification: Technical Diver (Or Equivilent)
SS W. H. Dwyer was built by Sunderland Shipbuilding Co. Ltd.Sunderland, in their South Dock, Yard number 277 and launched on 10th May 1913. She was Owned by Forwarders Ltd, Sunderland and named after the manager.
The W.H.Dwyer was a "Canaller", these Canal-sized freighters were tailor-made in England and Scotland prior to World War I to accommodate the St. Lawrence River canals which extended from Montreal to Kingston, and the Welland canals from Port Dalhousie to Port Colborne. The freighters were built to a size so they were able to operate in the lock system of the St Lawrence River in Canada. She was a steamer of 1770 tons.
The images here are of similar vessels.
The W.H.Dwyer was on passage from Rouen to Newport in Wales, she was in ballast on the morning of August 26th, 1917,when Oberleutnant Umberger in UB-38 sighted her 15 miles NE of Berry Head. Umberger noted in his log that it was pitch black and he probably saw only an outline of the Dwyer.
She was torpedoed and sank slowly enough that all the crew managed to take safely to the lifeboats.
There has been confusion over the identity of the W.H.Dwyer, it has been mistaken for the Ursa in the past, although this has now been cleared up. The W.H.Dwyer has her name on the stern, which is intact.
The W.H.Dwyer now lies upright on a sandy seabed in 57m of water, the bow to the North. The bridge has collapsed, however she can be penetrated at the bridge reasonably easliy. She is known locally as the Portland and the bell was recovered by divers from Teignmouth in the mid 1980's