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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Years ago june 1992 acording to my dive log book, I had a dive on a submarine wreck from the shore near Howick, Northumbria in about 10m I was wondering if anyone has any further details of this wreck. I gave away all my dive NE stuff when I moved to Scotland and now need some details to post on a local site.

I can remeber it was a ww1 british sub which was lost under tow at the end of the war, but thats about it. Any help please must be one of the only subs you can shore dive.
 

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wibble
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Its the G11 which struck the rocks in bad weather (fog if i remember right) slightly to the north of the "Doctors House". My wrecks book is on the boat at the moment, but a PM to Ron Young on these boards will no doubt fill in the blanks.

Not much of it left TBH, but i do know someone who went there at 5am and blasted a huge chunk of brass off it which is now apparently the rather artistic base for a glass topped coffee table :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
lol Thats one thing I remember large bits of brass , made to dive divers mad as they are so well concreated in :) pass me the smetex dear :)


Ta

Lee
 

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wibble
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Apparently they used slightly too much explosive and the chunk (which weighed in at 17stone) was blasted around 50 feet in the air and only just missed the tiny inflatible boat they had borrowed for the operation :D
 

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From Silent Warriors Vol-1

G11, HM Submarine
Date of Loss: 22 November 1918
Depth 1-5 metres Reference: 55 27’.002 N 001 35’.005 W
Location: close inshore at Howick, Northumberland

Legends abound on the haunted Northumbrian seaboard. One of the most intriguing, concerned the crew of a British submarine who, according to the story, had all got blind drunk on Armistice night and driven their submarine onto rocks near Howick. The reality behind this particular folk myth is infinitely more terrifying and tragic however.

Type: ‘G’ Class British ‘Overseas ‘submarine. Builders: Vickers Armstrong Ltd., at Barrow-in-Furness for Royal Navy. Ordered: for 1914 Emergency War programme. Keel laid: as Yard No. 466 on 28 March 1915. Launched: on 22 February 1916. Completed: on 13 May 1916

Technical specifications:
Hull: double. Surface Displacement: 693-tons. U/Dt: 964-tons. LBD: 57m × 6.86m × 4.11m.
Props: 2- bronze. Machinery: 2 × Vickers-Admiralty 800hp diesels S/Sp: 9kts.
Op/R: 2,400-n.miles @ 12kts. Fuel/Cap: 44-tons. U/Power: 2 × 420hp electric motors @ 10kts. Batteries: Exide lead/acid. Armament: 5, (2 × 45.72cm (18in) bow torpedo tubes, 2 × 45.72cm (18in) beam tubes & 1 × 53.34cm (21in) stern tube). Torpedoes: 10. Guns: 1 × 76mm (3in) Quick Firing HA gun on disappearing mount. Complement: 3-officers & 27-ratings.

The ‘G’ Class boats were equipped with Fessenden Underwater Sound Telegraphy and were built as ‘Bight & North Sea Patrols’, as the bow section was raised during the war, to improve sea keeping abilities. These boats were based on the ‘E’ class adopting the double hull design concept favoured by the Italian, Laurenti, but in practice they showed no improvement on the ‘E’ Class.
Her commanding officers:
Lt. Andrew Wilmot-Smith from 10 February 1916.
Lt. Charles Manners Sutton Chapman from 1 March 1917.
Lt. Richard D. Sandford VC, hero of the Zeebrugge raid was appointed commander of G11 on 1st November 1918 (Nominal List). Richard Sandford VC became gravely ill and was admitted to the local hospital, suffering from typhoid, so Lt.Cdr. George F. Bradshaw DSO, took over as temporary commander of G11 on November 19th.
(On 15 September 1909, Lieutenant, George F. Bradshaw began a submarine course on HMS MERCURY.
Posted to HMS ONYX on 1 January 1910 (Additional to the crew).
HMS FORTH on 1 February 1911 (Additional).
On 28 February 1913 Lt Bradshaw assumed command of HM S/M A9 (ONYX).
On 20 February 1914 Bradshaw served on HMS BONAVENTURE (Additional).
He assumed command of HM S/M C7 on 4 February 1915.
He became CO (Aditional) with HMS DOLPHIN on 29 August 1916.
In command of HM S/M G13, he successfully torpedoed and sunk an enemy submarine on the 10th March 1917, showing skill and determination; ‘their Lords consider great credit due to Lt. Bradshaw, officers and men for this successful attack’. Recommended the DSO by - CINC Grand Fleet Gazette 12 May 1917.
He was (Additional) CO on HMS LUCIA from 21 October 1916 until June 1918.
In 1921, Lt. Bradshaw was also CO of HM S/M K15, which sank at its moorings at Blockhouse, due to oil getting into ballast tanks, however Lt. Bradshaw was on leave at the time.)
(Lt. Sandford VC was also present on K6 during the Battle of May Island.)

Final voyage:
G11 left South Bank, home of the 10th S/M Flotilla at 1630hrs on the 19 November 1918.
The war had been over for eight days when Lt.Cdr. George Bradshaw DSO left the Tees for a billet over the Dogger Bank. At the time HM s/m L11, Bradshaw’s own command was undergoing a refit on Tyne and this much-respected skipper was unfamiliar with both G11 and her crew.
At 2000hrs on 20 November G11 was ordered home following an unremarkable patrol.
Navigating Officer Lt. Maclure RNR was able to fix G11’s position by the Dogger Bank light vessel, but from that point onwards until the Coquet Light was spotted, navigation would be down to dead reckoning. The weather was overcast, the boat’s compass appeared to be faulty and the fixes given by ACW (wireless direction) were wildly inaccurate. To add to the crew’s discomfort the Logan log used to record distances had ceased to function. Bradshaw proposed to pass 10-miles north of the mined-area, then to alter course to 228-degrees, once Coquet Light was passed. Lt.Cdr. Bradshaw intended altering course so as to pass between 7 & 10 miles to eastward of the coast and outside the war channel, thus avoiding the danger of a collision. Both skipper and navigating officer estimated that with a speed of 9-11-knots, Coquet Light should be spotted at 1900hrs on the 22 November.

On 22 November, the skipper took over from the officer on watch at 1700hrs, with the experienced Coxswain Palmer as lookout. At 1750hrs Bradshaw altered course for Coquet Island. The tide was practically slack and the wind and tide had gone down. The submarine was reckoned to be 14-miles from Coquet at 1900hrs. Although visibility was otherwise clear, a curtain of fog screened the land.
Lt.Cdr. Bradshaw:
“About 1840 I observed what I took to be a fog bank ahead. On entering the fog I sensed something ahead. I asked the Coxswain if he saw anything ahead, he replied ‘No Sir’. Sighting land straight ahead I immediately gave the order, ‘Hard-a-starboard, stop both’.
Immediately after the engines stopped we struck a rocky shore at a speed of 9kts. The boat ran up the shelving rock until her bows were nearly clear of water and immediately began bumping very heavily.
On grounding she was holed somewhere on the port quarter, either in the motor room or the engine room. Subsequently the port hydroplane-shaft was snapped off and the shaft forced into the boat…she was badly holed in the port engine room bilges and after flat. Most of the keel was torn away from the pressure hull…all moveable gear fell into the port bilges, water was seen entering the motor room and the First Lieutenant reported that he could hear the electric battery cell containers cracking.
The boat began to take a dangerous roll to port, which increased with each roller breaking over her. I concluded that the boat was hopelessly aground and in imminent danger of capsizing and sinking. I therefore gave the order ‘All hands on deck’ I spotted low-lying land ahead at about 12-20 yards from the bow. The boat was now lying over at an angle of 50-degrees and bumping so heavily that I considered she would be holed and flooded at any second and that the only possible course was to try and save the Crew.
I ordered the men on deck and lined them along the starboard side of the casing. I then ordered First Lieutenant Smith to go forward to the bows and endeavour to get ashore with a heaving line and then to haul a hemp rope ashore. According to PO Palmer, Stoker Foster was thrown overboard from the port side of the bridge by the tower hatch following a heavy bump made by the boat just after he had emerged from the conning tower hatch. The deck at this time was nearly vertical. While the crew were coming up by the conning tower and working their way forward I heard someone say ‘There is a man overboard!’ I switched on the aldis lamp and eventually saw a man swimming towards the rocks about 20-yards on the port beam and about 20-yards from the rocks. The surf was so bad that I did not allow anyone to go in after him but gave an order to throw a heaving line. I regret that owing to the almost vertical position of the upper deck, it was impossible to get the casing flaps open for some time and long before this the man was swept out of sight and I fear killed on the rocks.”

In pitch darkness and at great personal risk Lt. Smith and AB Birch had succeeded in clambering over the slippery rocks to secure a line. Lt. Cdr Bradshaw ordered his men to line up on the starboard casing. One by one they used the line initially to hang on to and then to guide them to the safety of the shore while the skipper trained the aldis lamp on the rope thus providing as much light as he could. Holding the rope was in itself a hazardous undertaking and Tel Back slipped to his death in the cold November-sea.

As soon as Lt. Smith discovered that two men were missing, the crew volunteered to go back to the shoreline and mount a search. The freezing and bedraggled men were given sustenance at a nearby shepherd’s house and by the kindly fisher folk of Craster. The indefatigable Bradshaw walked along the cliffs to the Craster Coastguard station where he telephoned the SNO of Blyth and Tees to inform them of the catastrophe. Throughout their ordeal the crew of G11 had behaved in an exemplary manner.

The inevitable inquiry held that Bradshaw having been being more used to the performance of L11, miscalculated the loss of speed on encountering heavy seas, a reduction of speed, which would have been greater in his old submarine than in G11. It was this miscalculation coupled with the fog curtaining the shore, which had proved fatal to G11. Bradshaw had a highly distinguished record and none had the stomach for a court martial.

The Inquiry Conclusion:
“We are of the opinion that the accident was primarily caused by overestimating the loss of speed due to the sea running at the time…Soundings were not taken prior to grounding owing to the conviction of the CLO that he was at least 16-miles from shore at the time… The fog was a severe one… it was not possible to take any immediate action to salve the ship and that all possible steps were taken for the essential and expeditious removal of the crew from the boat…while the sextant may have been read incorrectly…we are of the opinion that no blame be attributed”…
FL Smith and AB Birch (AB helmsman) singled out for praise for their work in the rescue.

The body of Stoker Foster was never recovered and he is now remembered on the Plymouth Naval Memorial, however Telegraphist George Philip Back’s corpse was later recovered and buried in the southwest corner of the sleepy little churchyard of St Peter’s at Longhoughton, in Northumberland and near to where he was washed ashore.) Tel. Back’s father lived in Chelsea, London)
There is perhaps one final casualty to mention, Lt. Richard D. Sandford VC, who died of his illness the day after his submarine, G11 was lost; he is now buried in Eston cemetery, near Middlesbrough, in Plot JU 79.
ADM 137/3807 – ‘The Loss of HM Submarine G11’

Extensive salvage work took place on the wreck of G11 during 1919 and then again in 1938, at the outbreak of World War II.
Wreck-site Nowadays, there is little left of G11 and the shoreline has been abandoned to the screaming seabirds and to ghosts. The submariners would surely have had no argument with that?
To reach the wreck-site entails a considerable hike from the bend in the coastal road, near to Howick village, then down along a track by the hedgerow to the rocky cliff tops, just to the north of a small house, often referred to as the ‘Bath-house’, which is said to belong to a local doctor. What remains of the wreck lies in a submerged gully that runs seaward from the shore at the low water line and out for about 80-metres. You can literally step into the water at low tide and find parts of the wreck dispersed amongst the rocks and weed. There is a solid brass escape hatch visible, albeit well concreted into the nearby rocks, submarine air tanks, rusting air-ducts and bent steel hull plates, part of the keel and the remains of the engines that lie at the deepest point, being around 5m on a low spring tide.

Cheers Ron
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks very much for that Ron, I lived and worked on Teesside for many years and never realised there had been a submarine fottila based there, you learn something new every day. Good job there not at south bank any more they would have been stripped out in no time :)
 

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Thanks very much for that Ron, I lived and worked on Teesside for many years and never realised there had been a submarine fottila based there, you learn something new every day. Good job there not at south bank any more they would have been stripped out in no time :)
Yes, you live in a much nicer and safer place now, wish I was up there too;)

Cheers Ron
 

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Photo of wreck

I have a rare photo of this wreck on the rocks, and a photo of what is left today (2011). It was secured by large steel ropes to be towed to blyth after it ran aground (not as some think that it was under tow when it hit the rocks).
If you would like me to forward pictures please contact me at [email protected]. It is the only picture I have been able to find.
Kind Regards
Chris
 

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I have a rather poor photo of her on the rocks, but it just looks like a large steel tube and taken from a distance

Cheers Ron
 

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same photo

My photo sounds the same one (though I now can't find the bloody thing on my computer). It was sent to me when I was researching G Class subs....Think it was on my old computer.
 

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wibble
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I'd settle for a few bits of engine and pressure hull or is it that gone?
Thats what I understand is left there - just bits. Pick your day carefully to go there though, last time I was there (which was a good few years granted) the path from the road down to the beach is steep, muddy and slippery as hell.

From my memory, this is where you park up, walk down and swim to.

 

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I agree with Ron, it is a hell of a walk from the car and the entry/ exit can be very interesting.
The last time we did it we had a barbie down on the beach, the barbie was the best part of the day.

There are other wrecks in the area but the access is tricky and I would not really recommend them.
The water is shallow and viz is often poor.

Lee
 

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Thats what I understand is left there - just bits. Pick your day carefully to go there though, last time I was there (which was a good few years granted) the path from the road down to the beach is steep, muddy and slippery as hell.

From my memory, this is where you park up, walk down and swim to.

Helen, that picture is great. Thanks!
 

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I agree with Ron, it is a hell of a walk from the car and the entry/ exit can be very interesting.
The last time we did it we had a barbie down on the beach, the barbie was the best part of the day.

There are other wrecks in the area but the access is tricky and I would not really recommend them.
The water is shallow and viz is often poor.

Lee
This is a dive to be missed, Lee is vastly underselling how much of a PITA the entry and exit is to see whats left of this wreck....... the BBQ was good though. ;0)
 

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Dived here a few times and have to agree the actual G11 dive is not worth the effort but the dive at Rumbling Kern is easier and can be quite interesting particularly at high tide. There is probably more wreckage of the G11 to be seen on the shore than in the water. Looking at Helen's Map at the small gap in the blue circle there in a gully above the high water mark are some girders and and large hatch - a testament to the awesome power of the sea.
Around 1min 1 sec in to my video of Beadnell and St Abbs you can see the hatch :-
 

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wibble
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When you dived at Rumbling Kern did you go in the large gulley that runs to the north east in the middle of the picture?



If so, at the end of it where it opens up, was there a bit of wreckage, sort of barrel shaped to the northern side of the entrance? Would only be in about 6-8m of water.

There is also supposed to be an underwater archway off the Kern, but I never found it.
 

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No to the gulley as we normally stay South around the Kern as entry/exit is a lot easier and we are now quite close to the three score and ten :-o]
Yes to the arch and from memory third reef [around 150 metres out] and to South although it was 3 years ago.
November 2010 there were a few small chunks of wreckage just above the tideline at the Kern.
 
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