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SS Thistlegorm

One the best wreck dives in the world

The SS Thistlegorm was built by Joseph Thompson & Sons shipyard in Sunderland for the Albyn Line and launched in April 1940. She was powered by a triple expansion steam engine rated to 365 hp (272 KW). The vessel was privately owned but had been partly financed by the British government and was classified as an armed freighter. She was armed with a 4.7-inch (120mm) anti-aircraft gun and a heavy calibre machine gun attached after construction to the stern of the ship. She was one of a number of “Thistle” ships owned and operated by the Albyn Line; which was founded in 1901, based in Sunderland and had four vessels at the outbreak of World War II.

The vessel carried out three successful voyages after her launch. The first was to the US to collect steel rails and aircraft parts, the second to Argentina for grain and the third to the West Indies for rum. Prior to her fourth and final voyage, she had undergone repairs in Glasgow.

On board, you will find trucks and motorbike as well as parts of British military aircraft – click on the picture links below to learn more and see pictures taken on dives in 2007 and 2008.


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