SS Rosalie Weybourne Norfolk
DIMENSIONS…. LENGTH 114.6Mtrs BEAM 15.6Mtrs DRAUGHT 7.3Mtrs
CARGO… IN BALLAST
BUILT… 1914 BY W. GREY & CO, WEST HARTLEPOOL
OWNERS AT TIME OF LOSS… NEW RUPPERA STEAM SHIPPING COMPANY
ENGINE TYPE… TRIPLE EXPANSION, SINGLE SHAFT
BOILERS… 2x SCOTCH TYPE
CAUSE OF LOSS… On PASSAGE FROM THE TYNE TO SAN FRANSISCO. TORPEDOED BY UB-11. ANCHORED AND LATER BEACHED AT WEYBOURNE
For some time I have wanted to dive the Norfolk coast but never really had the gumption to head off there and give it a go. You hear stories of it having poor visibility, unpredictable seas, strong currents etc.
No matter where you go or what type of diving you like you can encounter poor visibility or an unpredictable weather changes causing your dive to be blown out.
As far as current is concerned, I can testify, it can be strong if you don’t get your timings right. Cromer tide Tables are the reference and diving at Weybourne is 90 minutes after slack at Cromer.
As you look out to see at the windfarm you are looking North North East. The current runs from the East to the West and West to East when the tide is Ebbing and believe it or not West East when Flooding.
This is great because the Car Park is to the East of the wreck and drifting down the beach whilst swimming out to the SS Rosalie is very possible. Also includes a drift back when finished. Do watch out for anglers on the beach as they cast lines out which are very easy to get caught in.
Low Water at Cromer on the day we dived, 3rd August 2020, was at 14:11. Adding 90 minutes to this we planned to be at the wreck by 15:41.
Entering the sea about half way distance between the Beach Car Park at Weybourne and the SS Rosalie, you can just see it in the distance, at 15:30.
This gave us the oppertunity to swim at 45 degree angle from the beach, West, slowly drifting as we swam close too and onto the site.
We spent 40 minutes on the wreck however we could have quite easily extended this to 60 minutes and had no concerns about the Flooding tide.
Upon leaving the wreck take a bearing for South. This will bring you back to the shore line and will gradually shallow the dive. It is a sandy featureless bottom, only sand ripples providing an indication of water movement.
As you approach the waters edge to the beach you can hear the rushing backwards and forwards of the stones confirming you are going in the right direction.
What seems a long swim underwater in fact may not be that far, be patient, keep finning and you will avoid alot of the the stoney beach haul of equipment.
Location of SS Rosalie
Unless it is a High Low tide the mast of the wreck sticks out of the water by some 1 – 1.5 metres and can be easily seen.
The wreck appears to be dived regularly by locals so asking a few questions and teaming up is worth making a nuiscence of yourself if you are unsure. Worked for me.
Life is a Beach
The beach at Weybourne is small stones and is a “beach” to walk on, especially carrying full SCUBA gear. It is hard work so if you struggle under normal circumstances this dive is not for you.
In training we talk about Shore dives but for the majority entry on the slipway at Stoney Cove is as close as we come to it. If you want to tick a box and be satisfied that you are putting the theory into practice then this is an great dive to gain that experience.
It never hurts to get some assistance from your buddy.
If you are expecting a preserved hull sitting upright on the bottom I am afraid you will be disappointed. The structure is well broken up and spread across a sandy seabed. However.
If you view this as a perfect place for a host of critters to live then it is perfect. You will find the water full of Fry, Lobsters, Edible Crabs, Velvet Swimming Crabs, Sea Squirts and Soft Coral. As the site is so shallow on a sunny day this is fully illuminated by sunlight casting shaddows and light rays through the wreckage.
The best way to experience this very pretty site is to dive it yourself. If that is not possible then I hope this video gives you an insight and view of what is a very pretty dive.
View the SS Rosalie in 3D
The model is has been created by Jon Chamberlain at University of Essex.
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