Diver delves deep to find wreck’s secret

Jane Maddocks
Jane Maddocks
The Field Gun crews from HMS Collingwood at Whiteley Shopping Centre. Picture: Lieutenant John Davies

Field gun crew takes to shops in fundraiser

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SCUBA diver Jane Maddocks is hoping to reveal the secrets of a sunken Crimean warship on the floor of the English Channel.

The 60-year-old will lead a team diving to inspect the wreck of SS Faith, which sank 12 miles south of the Isle of Wight in 1855.

She said she can’t wait to explore the warship, which belonged to the Turkish government when she sank.

‘It’s an important and rarely visited wreck,’ she said.

‘It’s fascinating and I’m looking forward to the project.

‘She belonged to the Turkish government when she floundered in heavy seas.

‘Her bell was raised a few years ago and is in the Isle of Wight’s Shipwreck Museum. She lies in the English Channel in English waters. She was carrying a pretty ordinary cargo and on her way to Turkey when she sank.’

The ship was made of iron, and although a steamship had full sails too. She was built in 1852 by Laird & Sons of Birkenhead.

She is one of the earliest examples of naval steam power.

All of her crew but one were saved when she sank. He returned to his berth unwell and wasn’t spotted missing until too late.

She was primarily a cargo ship but had been used to transport troops in the Crimean War and sits 39 metres below the water.

Jane, a marine archaeologist and British Sub-Aqua Club First Class Diver and national instructor, is leading a team of divers to plot the wreck.

Jane, from Gosport, added: ‘I have a core team of around 10 archaeologically-trained divers but there are up to 24 places available for BSAC divers to join us.

‘Diving on wrecks at this depth might not be for everyone – it is pretty dark to be honest.

‘The wreck of the SS Faith is pretty spread out and damaged by nature.’

BSAC divers can join the dives on July 3 and July 4.

Email Jane on jmaddocks25@gmail.com