Type of vessel - French submarine chaser
How sunk – Rolled over in heavy seas
Former names – CH5 (Chasseur No. 5)
Wreck height - 4m
This French submarine chaser sank during a fierce south-westerly storm, only six of the 23 crew were saved. At the time of her sinking she was operating as an escort and support vessel to the British Submarine HMS Rorqual.
Chasseur No.5 has quite an interesting pedigree. She took part in the mass evacuation of Allied troops in Dunkirk in 1940. There were 21 Chasseur ships built. CH1 to CH4 were larger 48m, 140 tonne wooden hulled ships capable of 20 knots. Chasseur No.5 was the first of her type and all subsequent Chasseur ships were known as the Carentan class. All the requisitioned ships were renamed after French towns. CH5 was removed from her hull and she was given a ’Q number’ which denoted ‘special operations’. She lies on her port side on rock and slate bed. Both propellers have been lifted. The hull has a twist in the middle. Parts of the superstructure remain, as does much ammunition. She is a small ship measuring 116ft long with a narrow beam of only 18ft and weighing 400 tons. She is well broken, but still worth a dive.
CH5 was taken over by the Royal Navy at fall of France in 1940 and renamed Carentan. She was built in 1939 measuring 116ft x 18ft. Armed with 75mm field gun, one 2-pounder, two 20mm Oerlikons, four machine guns and depth charges. She is owned by a local Swanage man Eddie Bennet.
WRECKTOUR:124 The Carantan