This is what I wrote about the wreck, after consulting divers:
Reference: 53 42’.277 N 000 06’.913 E
Location: 1.53-nautical miles E from Holmpton & 7.96-nautical miles N from Spurn Point
The CANADA was a steel hulled 11,108-ton luxurious Danish motor-vessel that was registered at Copenhagen. Her dimensions measured: 142.85m by length, a 19.58m-beam and a draught of 11.04-metres. Nakskov Skibsværft A/S built her at Nakskov, Denmark in 1935 and A/S Det Østasiatiske Kompagni The East Asiatic Company of Copenhagen owned her at the time of loss. Six-cylinder 2S C.D. diesel/oil engines that developed 1,236nhp powered her two bronze propellers using two shafts that gave her a service speed of 15-knots. A. Kt. Burmeistr & Wain’s Maskin & Skibsbyggeri A/S manufactured the machinery at Copenhagen. She had seven watertight bulkheads, two decks, a cruiser stern and a superstructure consisting of a 68.88m-bridgedeck and a 23.16m-forecastle.
The MV CANADA was on passage from Vancouver for Gothenburg and Copenhagen calling at Hull on 3 November 1939. She had just left King George V Dock at Hull for the rest of her voyage, when she detonated a German laid magnetic mine in her No-2 hold, twenty-one miles northeast of the River Humber. The ship was carrying an unspecified 1,000-ton general cargo and 8,000-tons of Soya beans. The hold was totally wrecked and filled up with water very quickly, so her captain made for the shore in an attempt save the lives if his crew. When the vessel had almost stopped, the crew of fifty-four, including five-women immediately abandoned ship in the four lifeboats. However the vessel stayed afloat, so Captain Knudson and a small skeleton crew of thirteen, decided to re-board her. The other three lifeboats, containing forty people, continued to circle around the stricken ship. Spurn motorised lifeboat CITY OF BRADFORD 11 was launched at 1745hrs and ploughed out into very rough seas and a strong south, easterly wind. She reached the stricken ship after two hours and found her anchored 2½-miles off Holmpton. However the Norwegian steamship RINGHORN had picked up the crew of forty in the three boats. Five tugs did arrive and managed to put lines aboard her, but after strenuous efforts, they failed to move the huge ship, so the towlines were uncoupled and they left. The CITY OF BRADFORD stood-by the large motor-vessel throughout the bitterly cold night and at daybreak. Captain Knudson was transferred to a tug that was returning to Hull, so that he could report to the liner’s agent. Meanwhile the weather had gradually deteriorated and the ship developed a 45-degree list. The Mate signalled the lifeboat to take off the rest of the crew. Coxswain Cross struggled and had great difficulty in getting in close to the listing vessel and the boat received some damage from the battering, but at 1030hrs, all thirteen men on board were eventually rescued. Just five-minutes later, the CANADA heeled right over and sank. Her crew stood to attention on board the lifeboat, some saluting as she slipped beneath the surface. The crew were landed at Grimsby and the CITY OF BRADFORD arrived back on station at 0030hrs, having been at sea for eighteen and a half hours. Coxswain Robert Cross was awarded the R.N.L.I.’s ‘Thanks on Vellum’ for this excellent service. The CANADA settled on the bottom, with her masts, superstructure and smokestacks clear above the surface as the tide came in and soon became a total wreck.
The MV CANADA, which is one of the largest ships to be wrecked off the Yorkshire coast, is orientated in a north to south direction, with the bow to the north. It lies on a seabed of coarse sand, black shells and small pebbles, in a general depth of 11m, being the lowest astronomical tide. The wreck is still classed as a navigational hazard, even though she is collapsed and well broken up, because at low water, her jagged, broken, steel mass is just 2m under the surface. Trinity House, who now owns the wreck, placed a large wreck-buoy close to the spot where she lies. Divers come from all over Yorkshire and much further a-field to visit the wreck-site, because she is suitable for even novices. The wreck is absolutely huge and it can take more than one or two dives to properly cover the site, even though she is in such shallow water. It is also possible to visit the wreck at any state of the tide, but underwater visibility is usually very poor. However during the summer months, on neap tides and a following a spell of calm weather, it is possible to have visibility of 10-15-metres around her.
In 1972, a team of divers decided they had more right to one of her massive 10-ton bronze propellers than Trinity House, the owners, did. Incidentally, Trinity House also had plans for these two large objects, which would bring a small fortune in scrap-value. In a daring and probably dangerous operation, the divers ‘nicked’ one of the props, without informing the owners, who were rather upset to say the least, when they found out. On 24th August 1972, the Daily Express headlines were “Seabed pirates steal 10-tons of loot”. Everyone in the diving fraternity seemed to know about the removal of the propeller, so it was certainly no secret. However, the enterprising culprits were soon brought to book by the authorities, a lesson that should be borne in mind when removing anything from a wreck without permission. This is even more appropriate these days, since the Receiver of Wreck took an interest in all things salvaged or ‘stolen’. It is also interesting to hear that her brass pedestal-mounted telegraphs and steering-helms have never been missed.
I dived it about 20 years ago and it was a great dive. It was well broken up but still good for rummage about. Lots of fishing lead on it I got quite a lot. As for the depth it was only shallow 12- 15m max. On the boat ride out the sea was brown like gravy and we were wondering if we should go further out to a different wreck to get some better viz. As we approached the wreck the brown sea suddenly stopped and turned to blue, what a cracking dive we all had with fantastic viz. Only dived it once and never made it back. Well worth a visit if conditions right.
thanks for the info, its a lot more indepth than the mention it gets in the book i have. I'm also looking into two other ships that hit the wreckage of the "Canada" and sank nearby, they were the "Dryburgh" and "Georgios". The info I have is that "Dryburgh" sank about half a mile inshore of "Canada" and I have rough coordinates for the "Georgios" so any other info would be greatly appreciated.
The Dryburgh is here, 53 41 320 00 06 457E I have not been to it in many years but it was all there and recognisable as a ship back then. You would be best going after a settled period of light west Sou/west winds and high water slack. Also you could do worse than to purchase Rons books if you have an interest in the wrecks in that area..
I think we dived the Georgious. We we intended to dive the Canada and descended a line we found and thought was attached to her stern. At the end of the line we found a large concrete block with lines going off in several directions. We followed one to find another concrete block with similar lines, one of which we followed. We were about to give up when, in the distance, we noticed a pipe about 6' long and 9" diameter. As it was the only thing that looked interesting we finned across and found the wooden hull of a small, single screw ship. She was virtually upside down on her port side. As I recall the rudder was horizontal to the seabed and the prop was intact, though partially buried. The underside deteriorated badly towards the bow. There was no sign of any superstructure or deck fittings, which were probably buried in the sand. We surfaced about 150-200 yards to the East of our rib, which was waiting at the top of the line. The shore was in the background. That was 8 years ago so she's probably deteriorated being wooden and so close in. We launched out of Withernsea which I believe is not available now so you have a long ride from Grimsby/Cleethorpes or Hornsea. We intend to go back this year to dive the Canada and have another look at the Georgious if we can find her. Hope this helps.
Here is some info about the ship/wreck and its location:
GEORGIOS, ex BATNA, ex ELSE, ex DR ADOLF SCHMIDT
Depth 12m lowest astronomical tide
Reference: 53 42’.329 N 000 06’.979 E
Location: 1.54-nautical miles E from Holmpton & 7.96-nautical miles N from Spurn Point
The GEORGIOS was a 2.216-ton steel hulled Greek merchant steamship that was registered at the port of Chois. She had dimensions measuring: 87.48m by length, a 13.14m-beam and a draught of 6.16-metres. Fried Krupp Germaniawerft AG built and launched her as the DR ADOLF SCHMIDT at Kiel, Germany in 1910 for Frierich Krupp of Hamburg. Her single, possibly brass propeller was powered by a 3-cylinder triple expansion steam engine that developed 177hp using two boilers. Akt. Ges. Krupp manufactured the machinery at Kiel. The cylinder diameters measured: 50.80cm, 80.1cm & 135.26cm with a 96.52cm stroke 20in., 31.5in. & 53.25-inches with a 38-inch stroke. From 1921 until 1922, the French Government owned her and then V. Beccard in Rouen, who purchased the vessel in 1922-23, renamed her name ELSE. In 1929 Société D’arm et du Gerance V. Beccard & Cie S.A.R.L. became the owner until 1936 when Mme. Maria N.D. Lagoutis & Evans –Frd., who owned her at the time of loss, purchased the ship and renamed her GEORGIOS.
On 14 December 1939, the SS GEORGIOS was on passage from Sfax for Aberdeen when she struck the wreck of the 11,108-ton motor-vessel, CANADA. She was carrying a cargo of Esparto-grass, a crew of twenty-two and one pilot. The GEORGIOS was held fast, with some 6-7-metres of her bow section over the stern of the wreck and all attempts to free her failed. A Mayday signal was dispatched immediately and in rough seas, the crew abandoned ship in the two boats. Spurn motorised lifeboat CITY OF BRADFORD II was launched at 8 p.m., but on arrival at the scene, they found the stricken vessel deserted. An immediate search was made of the area and they succeeded in rescuing all of the men in the two boats and landed them at Grimsby. Meanwhile the GEORGIOS settled on the bottom with her upper structures awash and eventually became a total loss. The RNLI later sent Coxswain Robert Cross a ‘Letter of Thanks’ for his service.
The wreck is orientated in a northwest to southeast direction, with her bow to the northwest. She lies on a seabed of sand, shell and pebbles, in a general depth of 12m, being the lowest astronomical depth. The wreck is now collapsed and well broken up, but it makes it an excellent wreck-site, even for novice divers. Not surprisingly, most of her interesting brass artifacts will have long since gone. Tidal streams are reasonable, but underwater visibility is usually on the poor side.
Further to my earlier report "I think we dived the Georgios". My buddy on the day viewed the thread this weekend and, being much more diligent with his dive logs, advised the hull was steel. I remember it as wood. Sorry to mislead anyone. Must have been narked at 12m !!
Last dived the Canada in 2007 with CraigP. Maximum depth was 20M vis 4 to 5M and there was plenty of wreck to explore as we spent 70 minutes on the wreck. My log indicates the name and home port clearly visible on the stern with the bows standing 6M clear of the bottom. I believe it is best dived at high water slack to reduce sediment out of the Humber.