Weymouth Week Expedition Report

At the end of this year’s ‘week in Weymouth’ event we had one dive on the Alex – in amazing visibility and totally slack conditions. For once we could really see what was going on and get a better picture of the wreck site and it’s surroundings.

Our shot came down right next to the hull, just on the N side of the main body of the wreck with the line running NW towards the seabed. Just next to the shot was a very clear view of the bilge keel of the ship.

Our swim around the main body of the wreck revisited many now familiar features – the large pipes of the mast just near the break in the structure where the explosion split the ship in two, the odd pressure vessels in the ‘engine debris’ behind the winch.

A new find this time was a second break in the wreckage to the SE where the bottom of the hull remains intact but most of the structure once above the waterline is slumped and partially covered by a large sandbank. SE of this the hull continues to the stern where we found the rudder and prop tunnel quite intact along with the curve of the stern . Just inside the stern section seemed to be the remains of a vehicle – two spoked car wheels with completely intact tyres just projecting from the sand that fills this section of the wreck.

To the NW we were able to find a second portion of the wreck which seems to be the bow – large anchors were found still in place on it and the remains of the foremast projected to the SW. This section stands very high off the seabed – at least 7m or more but we are still unsure if these two sections constitute the whole ship.

At present we have no idea where most of the superstructure is – clearly some of it has been lost during the salvage works that destroyed the engine room but some remains must exist. We hope to look for evidence that the wreckage pile to the SE of the main wreck on our next expedition.

Sketchplan of the Alex van Opstal