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Diving the Baygitano
The Baygitano steam ship is a perfect second dive of the day or first dive for those without the depth experience.

 

She is usually covered with loads of fish, making her a very scenic dive and visibility is often quite good, 10m in the summer being not unusual.

 

The skippers tend to drop you off near the bow of the wreck. Giving you a good reference point to start, as the wreck has flattened and only key features of it are left to see. Follow her along the starboard side and you will come across the first of the three mast, followed shortly by some bollards and what is left of the second mast.

 

Baygitano Dive MapNear the second mast you will see a hatch on the floor, with the boilers towering next to it. Swim around the boiler and you can spot the donkey boiler behind and the engine sitting there. The pistons are exposed and it makes it an interesting site.

 

At the point it will look like the wreck is finished. A large sandy area covers the wreck here, and if you aim nearly straight south, you will hit the stern section. Two large winches can be seen – just behind the winches and in parallel to the port bollards (to your right), you will see the spare propeller (often missed by divers). You can swim around the remaining stern section and look at the rudder. Now just follow the line back along the port side until you hit the bow section again and ascend to meet your boat.

History

The Baygitano, was build in South Shields in 1905 and was christened the Cayo Gitano. Just before World War I, the ship was sold to the Bay Steamship Company of London and they renamed her the Baygitano. The ship, a 3073-ton schooner-rigged steamer, was one of the many collier ships running between Wales and France, supplying French factories with Welsh coal.

 

Captain Arthur Murrison was ordered to return to Cardiff from Le Have on the 18th March 1918. A run he had done nearly weekly during the war. The Captain joined the Channel Convey and upon reaching the British Coast, started to hug the coast using a zigzag course – the standard method to avoid German U-boats as they don’t like the shallows.

 

However, the UC-77 commanded by Oberleutnant Johannes Ries was hiding in the shallows and saw the Baygitano through the mist. At 11:45, a single torpedo from the UC-77 blew a large hole into the Baygitano’s No. 4 hold. The order was given to abandon ship and only 2 of the 37 crew perished, one of the engine-room engineer and the First Mate.

Baygitano

Posted on 4/22/2012 by SDA Editor

Dive the Baygitano

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Key numbers

Dive type: Wreck

Length: 101m

Depth:  21m (max)

Visibility: 10m

Location: 50 41.71N, 02 55.96W

Difficulty: 2 Star Rating

Dive: 3 Stars

Pictures
Baygitano
Dive Log

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Baygitano Log Book