Brighton Channel Wrecks

For divers who want to dive the Mid Channel Wrecks we run trips to these huge classic wrecks on the best neap tides for Technical Diving Tec Trimix / Rebreather Divers. Wrecks: SS Duke of Buccleugh [+1889],  SS Moldavia [+1918], SS Huntsmoor [+1918] and beyond HMS Warilda [+1918] and HMHS Lanfranc [+1917].

HMS Moldavia

Tonnage: 9500
Length: 168m
Beam: 19m
Built: J. Caird & Co, Greenock
Lost: 23/5/1918

The P&O Ocean Liner Moldavia was purchased by the Admiralty in 1916 and used as an auxiliary cruiser in WWI. On May 23rd, 1918 while serving as a US troop transport, carrying 900 US troops from Halifax, Nova Scotia, for London, she was torpedoed by the German U-boot UB-57 (Oberleutnant Johannes Lohs), in the English Channel. As she was sinking, troops and crew were transferred to the escorting destroyers.

Diving the wreck today:
The wreck lies in a maximum depth of 47 metres and minimum 34m, lying 025/205 degrees with bows towards 205 degrees, intact, on Port Side, Bows SW, 19m high. The wreck has an enormous amount of fish on it.

The City of Mexico

Tonnage: 1511
Length: 78m
Beam: 11.3m
Built: Laxevaags Maskin & Jernskibsbyggeri
Lost: 22/11/1916

On November 22nd, 1916, the Norwegian steamer SS City Of Mexico, on a voyage from Blyth to La Rochelle with a cargo of coal, was sunk by the German submarine UB-40 (Karl Neumann), 32 miles off Beachy Head. . There were no casualties. Built in 1905 by Laxevaags Maskin & Jernskibsbyggeri with a triple expansion engine of 149 hp and owned at the time of loss by Harloff & Rodseth.

Diving the wreck today:
The wreck lies in a maximum depth of 49 metres and minimum 35m, lying 064/244 degrees with bows towards 244 degrees, intact and upright 10.4m.

Duke of Buccleugh

Tonnage: 3100
Length: 115m
Beam: 11m
Built: 1873 Barrow Ship Building Co. Ltd
Lost: 07/03/1889

This 4 masted Barque was lost in a collision with the smaller Vandalia at 1am March 1889 whilst on passage from Holland to India carrying glass and chinaware. The Vandalia was carrying petroleum and struck the Duke of Buccleuch amidships. The Duke was lost with all 47 hands.

Diving the wreck today:

The masts and blocks from the rigging are easily seen when diving. The bow is broken and drops down to the seabed. At this point there is a big pile of small multi-coloured glass salt dishes and assorted glassware. It is easy to get inside the wreck at this point and there is further glassware including blue lampshades and glasses. Above this one mast lies along the wreck.

Going further back the engine can be seen as the decks have collapsed towards the centre. Getting under the main deck reveals cargo holds full of china. There is much plain white bowls and plates among fewer patterned and floral plates.

Swimming further down the wreck the main outline of the hull can be clearly seen and access to the holds is fairly easy.

General depth for this dive is 53m (low water), up to 58m (high water).


Tonnage: 1583
Length: 77.5m
Beam: 12m
Built: Nylands Verksted, Oslo
Lost: 13/05/1951

The Marga was built in 1924 by Nylands Voerksted, Oslo, with a triple expansion engine. Owned at the time of loss by A/S Bruusgaard. sprang a leak on 20.2.1951 and was towed into Camaret, near Brest. on 11.3.51 she left in tow, but on 13.3.51 there was a gale and she sank.

Diving the wreck today:

The wreck lies in a maximum depth of 50 metres and minimum 38m, lying 045/225 degrees, intact and upright 10.8m.