RMS Lusitania

Lockdown Lusitania - Courtesy of Peter McClamley & Project 17

Description courtesy of Peter McClamley

Sunday, August 31st, 2020 saw the last dive of this years expedition to Lusitania by Project 17.

We had been on site for a total of 15 days and carried out a total of seven dives, with bottom times between 30 and 65 mins, resulting in run times of between three to five hours.

This was the fourth year that Project 17 had been on site and it was the first time where we turned up and went diving the next day.

It was also the first time where we had to prepare risk assessments and method statements for the dive team to follow when they were not in the water, due to the potential risk of COVID-19.

For three days, we had the best diving conditions that we had experienced to date, with the visibility in the shallows at around 25m, with at least 15m on the wreck. With these conditions, it allowed team members, using DPV’s to travel stern to bow and back, all of which has been recorded.

It was around February that news began to filter through where some key team members advised that due to COVID-19 and it's impact that they would be unable to make it. Between that date and July we received news that although it was not definite, there was a possibility that we could lose up to nine team members, four of which were core members from Day 1.

This news was devastating to hear, however the possible loss of such valuable team members made us all more determined than ever that the Expedition would continue and we would achieve our objective.

It was the general consensus amongst us that when a project is halted and the momentum grinds to a halt, like a train pulling out of a station, it takes time to get up to speed.

This years work where we concentrated on the stern, seen photogrametery and data collection relating to a full ecological survey carried out by Dr Clare Fitzsimmons and data collection which will be used for the photogrammetry model.

The rest of the team concentrated on data collection using photographs and video to carry out comparisons on imagery supplied by Stuart Williamson and we are hopeful that with the imagery supplied, we can make use of this within the photogrammetry model.

Presently the stern section rises some 18 off the seabed.

One area that has collapsed allows access to the engine room, which shows various levels within.

On behalf of project 17, we would like to thank all the members of the Lusitania Old Head Museum, The Archaeological Unit & all the divers, researchers and those that helped make all that happened possible.

This video is a record of some of the events during our time on site.