Marine Roam is a fantastic service which provides access to SeaZone HydroSpatial data for the waters around Great Britain. There are many applications for the data and the expanding offshore renewables sector, and associated research around it, immediately springs to mind. However, did you know that you can use Marine Roam for some historical sleuthing?
70 years ago today, 27th march 1943, HMS Dasher was sailing up the Firth of Clyde heading for Greenock. HMS Dasher had been converted into an aircraft carrier and was home to 8 Swordfish and 2 Sea Hurricanes. The planes were being refuelled following landing practice when there was a series of massive explosions. The ensuing fire could not be contained and the ship was abandoned. It sank just 6 minutes after the first explosion. While 149 seamen were recovered, 379 lost their lives.
Wrecks are marked in the HydroSpatial data and can be queried in Marine Roam. It is a little tricky to find the wreck of HMS Dasher. I knew it was situated in the Firth of Clyde, mid-way between Arran and the mainland, about 5 miles south of Little Cumbrae. However, the only wreck I could find was that of the Antares, a fishing trawler which sank in 1990 after its nets were apparently snagged by a submarine. After a bit of hunting I found some strange boat shaped features, seemingly related to military wrecks which for the most part appear to have been sunk during exercises. One of these marks the resting place of HMS Dasher. Below is a screenshot of the attribute information held in the HydroSpatial data about her.
You can log into Marine Roam and use the Info Tool to explore features on the map. Alternatively, you can download the data through Marine Download and load it into a GIS for further exploration.
So what other famous ship wrecks can you find in Marine Roam? Why not post a comment with the coordinates of your favorite sea-floor find.
Much of the background information used in this blog post was taken from the fantastically detailed records available through the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland website.