DATELINE: 2 September 2002
DIVERS DISCOVER MULE GRAVEYARD
Divers exploring new wreck positions off the North Cornish coast have dived SS Armenian; a 8,825 ton wreck in 80m, and the largest merchant ship lost off that coast. The ship was carrying 3,000 mules which had been heading for the WW1 front line in France.
"There were an awful lot of bones," commented Rick Ayrton, an Inspiration diver who explored the wreck on Sunday 1 September. The team were diving from Chris Lowe's boat Atlantic Diver from Newquay.
"The shot was by the boilers, and we all went forward. It's a huge wreck, 150m long. We had a good look for the bell, but the mule bones provided the easiest means of identifying the wreck. They were everywhere," said diver Gavin Haywood.
SS Armenian was sailing from Newport News, USA with supplies destined for France. Divers found she was armed with two guns each side of the poop deck. She was first shelled and disabled, then torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U24 on 28 June 1915.
The dive team are the first to be able to give a reliable account of the wreck, information published previously about the wreck's position is inaccurate by some 20 miles.