Scapa Flow, Orkney has long been a mecca for wreck divers. Thousands of divers head to this small island off the North coast of Scotland to dive some of the best wrecks of World War One. The high concentration of wrecks in Scapa Flow is due to the scuttling of the German fleet took place at the Royal Navy’s base at Scapa Flow, in Scotland, after the end of the First World War. The High Seas Fleet was interned there under the terms of the Armistice whilst negotiations took place over the fate of the ships. Fearing that all of the ships would be seized and divided amongst the allied powers, the German commander, Admiral Ludwig von Reuter, decided to scuttle the fleet.
The scuttling was carried out on 21 June 1919. Intervening British guard ships were able to beach a number of the ships, but 52 of the 74 interned vessels sank. Many of the wrecks were salvaged over the next two decades and were towed away for scrapping. Those that remain are popular diving sites.
And Now A New One!
Following extensive research which began in 2009, ARGOS (Aviation Research Group, Orkney and Shetland) have now located a Grumman Wildcat Fighter which was lost from HMS Trumpeter during the Second World War.
According to the ships log, 3 Wildcats were scheduled to leave HMS Trumpeter but due to catapult failure one of them (JV751) fell over the port side. The pilot was rescued but the plane sank into the deep.
On Monday 10th March 2014, the wreck of the Wildcat was finally confirmed by SULA Diving from Stromness and ARGOS Member Kevin Heath.
You can learn more about this great find on the ARGOS website at: http://www.crashsiteorkney.com/page16.htm