Just realised we never got round to writing this one up when we did the dive back in April.
The Resurgam II was designed and built by a Manchester clergyman called Reverend George William Garrett (1852-1902) as a weapon to penetrate the chain netting placed around ship’s hulls to defend against attack by torpedo vessels. It was built in 1879, a 45 ft (13 m) long vessel, 10 feet (3.0 m) in diameter, built by Cochran & Co in Birkenhead. After a successful trial off Wallasey, it set off for a demonstration to the Royal Navy in Portsmouth in 1880. Unfortunately, whilst being towed by the steamship Elphin, Garnett’s invention began to take on water until the tow-rope broke under the added weight, and the Resurgam sank off Rhyl on 25 February 1880.
I just love the idea of the eccentric clergyman designing a submarine! These things just don't happen these days.
Considering that it's been on the seabed for 140 years, in shallow water, the Resurgam is remarkably intact. It's certainly recognisable as a submarine, albeit with one or two holes, and covered in marine life. At only 13m long, we were able to do several laps of the wreck before we decided we'd seen enough and terminated the dive.
A great little dive on a piece of history. Thanks to Ged for help organising this, and to the rest of the gang for making it a fun day. We obtained permission to dive the wreck via Chris Holden at Chester BSAC, and also CADW (Welsh Heritage).
Reports on our previous club dive trips and some of our day diving activities
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