The Lord Stewart is one of the best mid depth dives in Lyme bay with timber decking still in tact! She lays in 39m of water 10miles from Teignmouth, upright and fairly intact!
Dive Site Name: Lord Stewart Dive Type: Wreck Dive
Max Depth Seabed: 39m Depth to top of Wreck: 32m
Approximate Position: 50.29.35N 03.16.55W
Tonnage: 1445tonnes Length: 248Ft Cargo: Ballast
Date Lost: 16/09/1918 How Lost: Torpedoed UB 104
Minimum Qualification: Deep Diver (Or Equivilent)
The Lord Stewart was built in 1905 in Sunderland. She left Cherbourg on 16/9/1918 in Ballast and was torpedoed at 19:05 on the port side by UB-104, Oberleutnant Bieber. She sank almost immediately with the loss of 1 Spanish seaman. The remainder of the crew survived on floating wreckage untilpicked up by a patrol boat and taken to Torquay. UB-104 went on to sink the Ursa the following day.
The wreck of The Lord stewart currently lies approximately 10 miles from Teignmouth. The wreck is still reasonably intact, with some great examples of teak decking still clealry visible on the decks. She is in 37m of water although the scour can lead to 39-40m depths being recorded! You can spend most of the dive at 33-35m as she sits upright very much in tact!
Extract from Divernet:
With three Royal Navy patrol ships clustered protectively around him, Captain James Hardy of the 1445 ton armed merchantman Lord Stewart could be forgiven for thinking his ship was safe.
So she was - until she reached the west end of Lyme Bay at 8pm on 16 September, 1918, on her way from Cherbourg to Barry in ballast, writes Kendall McDonald.
Five minutes later, a torpedo from UB104 struck the 248ft ship on her port side forward and exploded well below the waterline. She started sinking at once, so quickly that the two naval gunners manning her 12-pounder stern gun had no time even to swivel it in the direction from which the torpedo had come. Captain Hardy ordered them to the boats with the rest of the crew.
One of the crew was killed - the sole Spaniard in the crew of 21 was drowned when the Lord Stewart rolled and went down. From the torpedo strike to her disappearance took only four minutes.
One Naval patrol vessel dropped four depth charges on the spot where it thought the U-boat should be, but there was no sign of success. However, no more was ever heard of Oberleutnant Bieber and UB104, though he and his crew are said to have been lost when attempting to return to Zeebrugge via the round-Britain route, and struck mines of the Northern Barrage near the Orkneys.
For more information check out
www.east-durham.co.uk/seaham/seaham.htm Where we found this photo