BSAC technical divers assist establish misplaced touchdown craft

Picture courtesy of Rick Ayrton

The stays of a touchdown craft misplaced en path to Asia in 1944 have been found 50 miles off north Cornwall by a bunch of explorers, together with BSAC technical divers.

In direction of the tip of the second World Warfare, the Royal Navy misplaced over fifty males and 6 Touchdown Craft Tanks (LCTs) after they went to sea in deteriorating climate circumstances.  

The volunteer Gasperados dive crew and its help crew, which incorporates some BSAC members, believes it has situated the wreck of one of many LCTs from this forgotten tragedy.

The exploratory crew had been trying to find one other misplaced shipwreck after they dived an unidentified web site in 92m from Newquay-based constitution boat Atlantic Diver. Unexpectedly, they discovered what seemed like a big amphibious assault ship and sought the recommendation of Dr Harry Bennett, Affiliate Professor of Historical past at Plymouth College. He urged that it may very well be the wreck of one in all six vessels misplaced whereas being towed to Asia in October 1944, in anticipation of a probable invasion of Japan.  

Submit D-Day, the craft had been now not required within the European theatre of struggle. Over fifty sailors misplaced their lives when the LCTs, not designed for heavy climate, had been overwhelmed by a storm.

Dr Bennett mentioned: 

The tragic story of the misplaced convoy of LCTs which this wreck brings to the fore is a brutal reminder that within the midst of struggle our mariners nonetheless needed to cope with the outdated foes of unrelenting storms and the merciless sea to typically lethal impact.

BSAC’s Head of Diving and Coaching, Dom Robinson, was one of many BSAC technical divers who made dives to the wreckage and helped establish its stays.

Dom mentioned: 

The lack of LCT 488, and the opposite craft from the flotilla, is an extremely unhappy story that deserves to be higher recognized. The courageous sailors who misplaced their lives throughout that horrible storm shouldn’t be forgotten and we hope our discovery will remind folks of the debt we owe them.

The wreck at this time

Rick Ayrton LCT 488 wreck

Light-weight right-angle beam development with rivet holes on the wreck; [inset] the identical design on LCT 7074


Rick Ayrton LCT 488

The exit level of the prop shaft on the sunken LCT; [inset] the exit level of the prop shaft on LCT 7074


Extra dives and analysis are deliberate earlier than the wreck can formally be recognized. The crew will current their findings on the technical diving convention at Plymouth College on 25 November 2023.



LCT 7074 pictures courtesy of Barbara Mortimer

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