Diver identifies 109-year-old shipwreck
A diver has identified a shipwreck that has lain on the seabed for more than a century.
Pete Hodkin, who is the Training Officer for Mid Herts Divers in Welwyn Garden City, was diving what has been known for many years as ‘wreck 355’ when he discovered the ship’s bell bearing its real name - The SS Ladoga.
Pete, from Lower Stondon, Bedfordshire, said: “Finding a bell is one of the most exciting and valuable things a diver could find. It is usually the only positive means of identification.”
The bell up close
Pete was diving with 11 other members of Mid Herts Divers, from a boat run by Dive 125, when he made the discovery on Saturday.
Pete said: “Before jumping in, the boats skipper told us to bring up anything we find that might help identify the wreck.
“I was swimming along when I saw something round in the sand. At first I thought it was a plate. As I got a bit closer I thought it could be a bucket, but as I picked it up I realised it was a bell.”
The brass bell bears the words ‘SS Ladoga 1892 London’.
Records show that the SS Ladoga disappeared after a collision off the coast of Hastings on March 15, 1903.It was a steam cargo ship built by William Doxford and Sons Ltd in Sunderland in 1892. It was renamed SS Miraflores in 1900.
The find has been reported to the Receiver of Wrecks and the site will now be given its real name.
For more information on Mid Herts Divers visit www.midhertsdivers.com.
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