Volunteer Divers Survey Wreck from 1807 In Stormy Waters Off Northern Scottish Islands

An example of a late 18th century Dutch Frigate, 1789. <a href=http://www.machuproject.eu/machu_cms/VoC/VoC_Wreck_View.php?wreck_id=445&lang=EN>Photo Credit</a>
An example of a late 18th century Dutch Frigate, 1789. Photo Credit

In 1807, the Dutch warship Utrecht was driven off course by a blizzard on her maiden voyage. The ship was stranded in February 1807 with 54 men lost.

Volunteers, along with the University of the Highlands are surveying the site to learn more about the tragic disaster.

The first dive was concerned with confirming the number of cannons aboard the ship (there were 38). The second dive is to identify wreckage debris.

Soon, they will begin the third phase which is for recording the condition of the wreck, STV News reported.

A spokesman for Archaeology Orkney said: “The remains of the Utrecht represent a unique resource in Orkney waters.”

“Orkney has a rich submerged maritime resource that brings in substantial economic revenue to the islands through diving tourism each year, but much of the research into this diverse heritage has focused on the extensive First and Second World War wartime remains within Scapa Flow.”

The project to survey the Utrecht is led by Kevin Heath of Sula Diving and is being funded by the Orkney Islands Council.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE