Scarborough divers to explore shipwreck

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Members of Scarborough Sub-Aqua Club are currently on an expedition to dive scenic and shipwreck sites to the north of Scotland.

The two-week trip is on board the MV Hatherleigh and participants will be diving off Orkney, Westray, Eday and Fair Isle.

During the expedition the focal point for the group will be to dive the shipwreck of the Oceanic which lies in shallow water off the Island of Foula.

The group will also visit Muckle Flugga, the northernmost point of the British Isles.

According to local folklore, Muckle Flugga and nearby Out Stack were formed when two giants, Herma and Saxa, fell in love with the same mermaid.

They fought over her by throwing large rocks at each other, one of which became Muckle Flugga.

To get rid of them, the mermaid offered to marry whichever one would follow her to the North Pole.

They both followed her and drowned, as neither could swim.

Rob Broadhead, joint owner of the Hatherleigh with Anne Polkey, said, “This will be the second time we have mounted an expedition of this magnitude.

“The whole point about acquiring MV Hatherleigh was to create opportunities to explore dive sites further afield and in the British Isles you can’t go any further than Muckle Flugga.

“Hatherleigh provides a really good platform for us to dive from and there’s nothing better than adventurous diving in crystal clear water and then relaxing on board with good food and good friends.

“There’ll be a lot of photos and filming of the trip so that we can share our adventures with everyone when we get back home.”

Like Titanic, Oceanic was designed by Thomas Ismay, director of the White Star Line and built at the same shipyard in Belfast by Harland and Woolf.

Launched in January 1899, Oceanic became known as the “Queen of the Seas”.

At 215 metres she was the largest liner in the world at the time and could hold 1,700 passengers and 350 crew.

The story of the sinking of Titanic’s sister ship, Oceanic, is a less dramatic one, but her fate was remarkably similar.