Sent: Sunday, July 02, 2000
From Rampant Scotland Newsletter - Issue Number 168, dated 1 July 2000.
Memorial to Wartime Tragedy
A memorial plaque was attached this week to the wreck of HMS Dasher, an
aircraft carrier which blew up and sank in the Firth of Clyde in 1943
with the loss of 379 men. This was the second highest casualty list
suffered by the navy in home waters (800 men were lost when a U-boat
sank HMS Royal Oak in Scapa Flo in 1939). The cause of the explosion
which sank the carrier has never been officially explained. The ship is
in 170 metres of water and the divers took two hours to return to the
surface to avoid the "bends".
Steele (Ardrossan)" <email@example.com>
Sent: Monday, July 03, 2000 4:54 AM
Dasher Memorial Plaque
Further to Hugh's information regarding HMS Dasher, the following may be
of interest,The dive team visited noreen and I to discuss a dive on
Dasher. We had confidence in the team and suggested that they lay a
memorial plaque. I attach a press release from the dive team.
"HMS Dasher is a British aircraft carrier, resting intact and upright in
170m / 555ft of water, midway between Arran and Ardrossan in the lower
Clyde on the west coast of Scotland. Hitherto, it had been considered
out of reach for untethered diving.
Today, a team from the European Technical Dive Centre in Scapa Flow
dived 131m / 428 ft to the flight deck of HMS Dasher and laid a plaque
in memorial of the 379 men who perished when HMS Dasher sank on 27th
March 1943. In additional to the memorial plate dedicated in a service
in Ardrossan, John and Noreen Steele of the Dasher relatives'
association each laid a rose at the site. HMS Dasher was a US built
vessel, converted from merchant use shortly before the disaster.
The dive today on HMS Dasher is believed to be the deepest cold water
wreck ever dived on open circuit SCUBA equipment. Each diver in the four
diver team dived solo, from the dive vessel, the Loyal Mediator. All
divers were entirely self sufficient throughout the dive and
decompressed in the water.
John Steele and Noreen Steele have documented the tragedy of the sinking
of HMS Dasher in the book, "They were never told, The Tragedy of HMS
Dasher". The tragedy was compounded by secrecy, including the failure to
this day of HM Government to advise any of the relatives where their
sons, husbands and brothers lay. The casualty list is second only in
British home waters to the sinking of HMS Royal Oak.
In respect for the site as a war grave, no part of the wreck was entered
and of course, nothing was removed."
Please do not hesitate in contacting me for further information
Best wishes to all from sunny Ardrossan