Type of vessel - Steam ship

How sunk – Collision, mined & Gunfire

Former names – Southerner

Wreck height - 6m

While in a large convoy (NH53) from New York to London with a cargo of fuel oil, general cargo, foodstuff, bales of rubber and drums of chemicals she collided with the tanker ‘O B Jennings’ after the convoy split into two groups. The impact ruptured the tanks of the ‘O B Jennings’ and her cargo of naptha instantly incinerating the men on the’ War knight’s’ deck. Only 7 of her 47 crew survived. The next morning a Portsmouth Tug took the burning ship through the remnants of a mine field laid down by UC-17 despite being advised not to do so. Two mines exploded under the ‘War Knight’ and a third exploding on the tow line. She was beached at Watcombe bay and sunk by gunfire to extinguish the flames.

The wreck is a large one, but only her 3 oilers stand more than a few metres high. She was extensively salvaged in the 1960’s. She makes a good second dive if in the area, although visibility can be an issue.

South Coast Ship Wrecks

South Coast

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