Londonier

Londonier  
Dive Category Wreck
Dive Type Band 50
Max. depth: 40 (M)
Trip Time: 5H :30M

Max Depth - 40m
Tonnage - 1870
Length - 279
Date sunk - 13 Mar 1918
Type of vessel - Belgian Steam Ship
How sunk – Torpedoed
Former names – Vrijhandel
Wreck height - 7m

Travelling from Calais for Bristol Channel in ballast the ‘Londonier’ was torpedoed by UC-71. She was hit by two torpedoes on the port side. She sank very quickly and 12 of the 25 crew lost their lives.

The Londonier was a steel hulled steamer launched in West Hartlepool on 28th August 1911. Built for a Belgian company, the ship was named Vrijhandel (Dutch for free trade), and operated under the Belgian flag until approximately 1916, when it was renamed Londonier and, shortly after, put on charter to the French government.   
On 13th March 1918 the Londonier had crossed the Channel and was steering a course in the direction of the Needles en route from Calais to the Bristol Channel. The UC-71, a German submarine under the command of Oberleutnant zur See Warzecha, executed a surface attack, torpedoing the Londonier at 2am on 13th March.

The wreck lies mostly upright, although she has collapsed to starboard. The highest part of the wreck is her triple expansion engine and boilers. The stern gun lies on its side just off the wreck. The bow is very broken.