Dive on the wreck of SS Oriflamme

On the 25th November 1917 the 3764 ton Oriflamme struck a mine when inbound from the USA with a cargo of benzine. There is some debate as to whether the mine was laid by UC-63 or our own forces! Unfortunately…

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On the 25th November 1917 the 3764 ton Oriflamme struck a mine when inbound from the USA with a cargo of benzine. There is some debate as to whether the mine was laid by UC-63 or our own forces! Unfortunately an errant distress flare landed on the stricken ship setting the benzine alight & this was ultimately to seal her fate.

Initially it was hoped that the vessel could be saved, however the fire in the cargo become too fierce & it was towed offshore & sunk by gunfire from a torpedo boat in its present position, about a mile south of St. Catherines Point on the Isle of Wight.

There were no casualties.

This is still a substantial wreck, standing as much as 7m high in places & lying in general depth of 42m.

The wreck is subject to very strong tidal flows & the slack window can be short even on a neap tide.

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