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In this section you will find articles on pleasure dives that have taken place with the Blackwater Sub Aqua Unit. 

Other Archives Items can be found in the downloads section accessible here.

Blackwater Diver Helps Find Missing Submarine

News broke last week of the rediscovered World War 1 German U-Boat in CorkHarbour. Throughout the week I have been asked what I knew about the finding and if Blackwater divers involved. Divers from Cork Ian Kelleher and Niall O Regan were first on the scene, however one of our own, Timmy Carey was very much part of the team involved in the eventual finding of a fully intact submarine.

Most allied ships during the war were sunk by U-boats were either sunk by torpedo, deck gun or explosives placed aboard the ship by U-boat crew. A smaller number of ships were also sunk by mine laying U-boats, one of these being UC42. On the 10th of September 1917 UC42 was laying her deadly cargo of mines at the entrance of CorkHarbour when a terrific explosion occurred which resulted in a grim death for all 27 Submariners aboard. The boat sank to its final resting place on the sea bed; it is thought all remained trapped.

In November of that year hard hat divers positively identified the u-boat and the presence of some of the bodies on board. Dived again in 1918, efforts were made to disarm all the mines and torpedoes still aboard. Later in 1919 it was though divers using explosives from HMS Vernon torpedo school had destroyed the submarine with the remains being scattered on the sea bed.

Throughout the years, many dive teams searched in vain for the scattered remains in vain. Without precise location available, this would be akin to looking for a needle in a field of hay stacks. The vast majority of divers are happy to go to known wreck, and not “waste” a days diving in a futile search. Credit must be given for the persistence of the divers who would spend many months searching and coming up empty handed. It would have been very easy just to give up. While other divers enjoyed the “Aud” or “Santo” or the other fine diving in CorkHarbour, this dedicated team stayed focused on one objective.

So it was in November of 2010, Ian and Niall descended a shot line only to see the menacing sight of the hull of a German U-boat. Fully intact she lay in just 27 meters of water. The find would be kept secret until she was positively identified and photographed. Indeed club members would not hear of the exact details of the find, until news broke on Monday morning.

When diving the wreck, divers are all too aware that this is the final resting place of souls lost at sea, and must treat it with complete respect. No items will be touched or removed. Yet just to experience the rusting hull will be a very special dive, and it is sure to be a memorable experience. The Club divers look forward to many dives ahead. Thanks to Timmy Carey for providing the photos for this weeks article.

The importance of this find cannot be underestimated. For the family of the 27 submariners lost, even after all this time I am certain known the location will bring comfort. In time tourist divers will make the pilgrimage and perhaps dive other wrecks in the vicinity. This could be a very big attraction and a boost to the local economy.

Week 2 for this years, trainee divers, would start with lectures in the club house followed by pool work, thanks to all who turned up and gave assistance. Please contact Graham Burke or Peter Whelan for dwtails. Foe further information on our club log onto www.blackwatersubaqua.ie

Blackwater Diver finds Victorian Water Filter

Diving in the Blackwater in Fermoy last weekend, Timmy Carey found an excellent example of a Victorian water filter. Skilfully recovered, the jar was found to be intact with just some discolouration. The picture show the remarkable condition after many years submerged in the river bed. Timmy will expertly clean in the next few weeks, and will join the other fine array of Victorian ceramics found to date.

As long as 170 years ago, the legendary craftsmen of fine Royal Doulton ceramics were already making water filters effective enough to rid river water of cholera bacteria, rendering it fit to drink. Water borne diseases are, even today, a widespread danger to life and health, affecting people all over the globe.

Background

In 1815, John Doulton was taken into partnership by the widow Martha Jones who had inherited from her late husband a pottery shop in Vauxhall Walk, Lambeth, by the side of the ThamesRiver. Her foreman John Watts was also taken into partnership and the firm became Jones, Watts and Doulton. The original company produced the Doulton brand of English china and other fine ceramics. Employing students from the Lambeth School of Arts, the company inaugurated a long tradition of artist-designed fine ceramics that bore comparison with any in Europe.

"Offensive to the sight, disgusting to the imagination and destructive to the health." This was how London drinking water, which was drawn from the Thames, was described in a pamphlet published in 1827. The Thames was heavily contaminated with raw sewage; cholera and typhoid epidemics were rampant. Coincidentally, this was also the year in which the company started expanding their ceramic technology to industrial and other specialized applications such as insulators for electrical telegraph. In response to public awareness of the danger of the polluted water, they began making water filter cases packed with powdered carbon.

By the time Queen Victoria came to the throne, the Doulton brand-name was established as an innovative manufacturer of domestic and industrial products. In 1835, Queen Victoria, realizing the dangers of her drinking water, commissioned the company to produce water purifiers for the Royal household. They created a gravity fed stoneware units with the artistry of hand crafted pottery, fitted with a clay filter element for bacteria removal. The Queen, pleased with their achievements, conferred the honour of Royal Crest to Doulton's water purifiers. In 1853 John Watts retired and new partnership Doulton & Co was formed. In 1862, Doulton filters shown at the Kensington International Exhibition proudly wore the Royal arms of Queen Victoria.

 The filter found does not bear the Royal arms of Queen Victoria, so it may be safe to assume this example pre-dates 1862. Certainly in 1901, King Edward V11, conferred on the company the double honour of the royal warrant and the specific - as opposed to the assumed - right to use the title "Royal," for their contribution to the British Empire. Along the way honours were won at the great international exhibitions at Chicago and Paris and the range of Doulton products proliferated.

Also found on the same day was a selection of Dundee marmalade jars, previously featured last year in the Avondhu Newspaper.

Diving Schedule 2014

 

   

Dive weekend September 13th      Skelligs     

 

Contact Peter Whelan for details