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Cargoship       ALIAS:




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LOA :   244   ft  
BEAM :   37   ft  
DRAUGHT :   16   ft  
CREW   ?      
BRT :   1422  
NRT :   855  
TDW :   2300  
TYPE   Triple exp.(Kon.Mij. "De Schelde")      
POWER :   163   NHK  


Built at Scheepswerf v. Jan Smit Cz., Alblasserdam, Delivered 05.1904 som "Norma" to C. Bech, Tvedestrand. . Had several names and owners until she was bought by Rich. Jansen in Aug.1936. Current name was then "Risør" owned by Prebensen & Blakstad, Risør. Price: Nkr. 130.000. Renamed by Jansen to "Vestra" , who also formed a new company called A/S Vestra. During the war she sailed for the germans, with norwegian crew, but also german soldiers manning AA guns, and making sure the ships course did not deviate too much to the west.

Vestra was anchored in the outer harbour of Haugesund in transit from Nordmøre to Sauda loaded with limestone when the Beaufighters of the Strike Wing ( Squadron 235, 248 og 404) ran an air raid After taking several hits by cannons, and possibly some rockets, Vestra went down. All the crew, including soldiers were below deck, having their 3 o'clock coffee break; thus the AA guns were not manned. The crew was however saved by the smack who was alongside. The german ship Eckenheim was also hit, but were towed into a shallow bay by the yard, and since savaged and repaired. In 1945, however it went aground near Farsund..


She is now standing on an even keel, bows facing north. The superstructure is collapsed. Apart from the holes from the air raid, the hull is is also suffering some damage from anchor chains or wire from oil rigs doing repairs at the shipyard. Some years ago we discvered a new big slash in the stern area.

Depth range 40 to 51m.

The bottom in this area is nice and even, making it quite easy to locate wrecks by echosounder A boat is needed, of course, preferably a big one, because all the ships entering the outer harbour will sail here. A small zodiac might not be seen... Apart from that, and the strong tidal current, and the fact that if you loose your bearings you can't follow the bottom to the surface, it's a nice place to dive. One Easter some years ago, we were diving with some friends from the danish club Aqua Quick. We had just surfaced, the second team was still down when we were hailed by the cops in the HArbourmasters boat. They had been told by the guard at the "ABB" yard that something very suspicious was going on We had to give names and addresses, explain why anybody would want to dive there, give details of the the emergency plans and so on... They even stood on the quay, watching until the last team was safe onboard the Searaider. Luckily they chose that day, because the danes had been diving alone several times without diving flag and without local guide. (at that time foreigners were not allowed to dive from a boat without "escort". A smart move is to call the security dept of the "ABB" shipyard clearing the dive, sometimes they have these oil rigs moored near the wreck making diving risky.
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