Filey Bay Initiative

Underwater survey of the wreck of the Hull Steam Trawler Skegness  H 14

During September 2004, members of the Filey Bay Initiative undertook an underwater survey of the remains of the wreck of the Steam Trawler Skegness which was lost on the 24th September 1935. The vessel is located under the precipitous chalk cliffs at Speeton to the south of Filey and much has been written about the loss of this vessel.   The tragic circumstances of the vessel's loss had such an impact on both the fishing communities of Hull that it is remembered today within the local community.

The purpose of the survey was to locate identifiable sections of the wreck, record them on video and determine to what extent the wreck had degraded. Below is a below deck plan of a vessel closely resembling the Skegness and thumbnail images show some of what can be seen in the various locations.  Point the mouse over the thumbnails and the images will pop up.

The below deck plan of the Skegness

It was expected that there would be little remaining of the vessel, what was present had been disarticulated by the ravages of the weather and general corrosion, however some parts can still be identified.  Video stills from the film have been obtained and some are reproduced here.  The underwater visibility was moderate under bright sunlight and the sea conditions were calm at the time of the survey.

As with most steam driven vessels, the strongest parts of the vessels were the boilers and condensers.  The single boiler on the Skegness is present and is partly exposed at low water but the condenser is not present.  This boiler is largely intact but is displaced and suffers from the effects of corrosion and this can be seen in the image above.  The inside of the fire boxes were visited and although partly choked with debris, some fire bars were seen and the extent of the corrosion of the fire tubes was self evident. 

On the after end of the boiler, the lower section of the triple expansion steam engine was identified, namely the cranks and supporting engine structure but heavily covered in marine growth.  One connecting rod remains, believed to be from the low pressure steam cylinder and is positioned vertically and frozen in time from when the fatality occurred but little else remains apart from scattered debris and the part of one cylinder, connecting rods and possible valve casing material

At the base of the starboard (North) side of the boiler  copper pipe work is seen amongst the compacted debris and close by is the remains of the dynamo, of which the copper windings on the armature are clearly visible.  Further out to sea there appears to be little else visible and the propeller which would have been of cast iron was not found.

Closer inshore on a patch of sand one anchor is visible and isolated scattered ferrous material is present in this area.  During the survey, old large calibre ammunition was observed with rifled driving rings but without  nose fuses fitted, as the Skegness was not armed this is believed to have been located on the the wreck site by means of the prevailing northerly seas that sweep this area and is indicative of the risky nature of working in this location. 

The video survey may form the basis of a formal measured survey at a later date but there are few times in the year when the site is accessible or the clarity of the water good enough for this to take place.  Future work will be planned with care.

The site is not classed as a particularly interesting dive and divers wishing to visit this site are advised not to do so unless they are in the possession of a fully comprehensive local weather forecast, stable sea conditions and have the benefit of experienced local knowledge.

All the pictures are the copyright of John Adams of the Filey Bay Initiative.


Skegness story     Wreck list        Filey Bay initiative





Filey Bay Research Group            FBI