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Diving the Kyarra - one of UK top wreck dives

The Kyarra is one of the most dived wrecks in the UK. We know some who have dived her 50 or more times, still longing to get further into her and finding more things to take home.

The wreck can be quite dangerous, with a strong current and also changing tide, but she is one of the best UK wrecks to dive. Take a least two torches with you, it can be quite dark even during a sunny day Do not try to penetrate the wreck if you are not qualified to do so

 

The Kyarra lies on her starboard side and is deteriorating quickly – making penetrating the wreck more dangerous or even impossible.

 

You are likely to descend down the permanent fixed buoy, which means you will arrive amidships.  You should be able to spot the boiler, which has rolled of the boat lying nearby and if you follow it back to the wreck, you will see a second boiler poking out of the wreck.

 

Kyarra Dive Map
  1. Boiler on sea bed 
  2. Debris field 
  3. Boiler (sticking out) 
  4. Masts and winch 
  5. Engine ventilation 
  6. Rudder on sea bed

The easiest way to see her, is to follow her to the bow. First you will see some upright ribs and shortly afterwards you will come across the teak decking, which has completely collapsed. You will see a mast on the sea bed and following it a bit further you will come to the bow.  The whole front of the wreck has deteriorated heavily in the last 10 years, creating significant small cracks everywhere and allowing some local wild life to settle.

 

You can follow the top of the wreck all the way to stern. Once passing the boiler, you will see the prop shaft poking out through the hull plates until it reaches the stern. The rudder and steering gear lie on the seabed having broken off a couple of years ago. You now can follow the wreck back and you will come across a large hole, the engine ventilation shaft. Shortly beyond that, the shot line will be insight for your ascend.

History

The Kyarra was built in 1903 and was twin screw, 4 boiler ocean liner. The two triple expansion engines produced 375 hp each and allowed her to cruise at just over 15 knots.

 

Initially, she ploughed the England to Australia run on behalf of the Australasian United Steam Navigation Company. In World War I she was used as a troop transporter to bring troop in the Dardanelles.  In 1917, with the ever increasing casualty numbers on the World War I killing fields, she became a casualty clearing ship and had a 4.7in quick firing gun fitted to her stern to defend her against U-Boat attacks.

 

She left Tilbury on 24th May 1918, heavily laden with mixed cargo. A day later, on 25th May 1918, as she crossed Anvil Point, hiding in the water was Oberleutnant Johannes Lohs, who had been commandeering for only three months and had already 22 confirmed sinking and 5 damages.  A single torpedo from the UB 57 hit the Kyarra amidships, killing 6 crew members.  She was sinking fast and the captain William Smith ordered her to be abandoned. The remaining crew took to the lifeboats and seven minutes later she nose dived to her grave.

 

In 1966, the Kingston BSAC club bought the wreck (but not the mixed cargo). Since then, hundreds of divers have discovered what her mixed cargo was – bottles of champagne, beer, red wine, vinegar, French perfume, medical supplier, silver purses, pocket watches, gold wrist-watches.

Key numbers

Dive type: Wreck

Length: 126m

Depth:  18m (top deck) to 30m

Visibility: 10m

Location: 50°34.90'N, 1°56.57'W 

Difficulty: 4 Stars

Dive: 4 Stars

 

Pictures
Kyarra in Harbour
Video

Dive Log

Download a free log book page of this dive

Kyarra Log Book

Kyarra

Posted on 4/22/2012 by SDA Editor

Kyarra, one of UK top wreck dives.

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