Depth : 49m
Dive type : Technical (deep)
Travel time to site :   0H :00M
Price per diver:   £80.00

PS Normandy - 49m

In 1862 an Act of Parliament was passed authorising the London and South Western Railway Company to own and operate ships. The first vessel built for the London and South Western Railway Company Channel Islands service was the ill-fated Normandy built in 1863 by J Ash and Company of London. Engined by J Steward of Blackwall, she was an iron paddle mail steamer of 600 tons, 210 feet long and with a 24-foot beam with a speed of 15½ knots. 

Normandy had 130 passenger berths and carried 200 tons of cargo. Her maiden voyage to Jersey was on 19 September 1863 and she continued to operate to the islands until she was lost in 1870.

 Normandy had already suffered serious damage in a collision on 21 April 1864 when she hit the liner Bavaria and six years later, on a voyage from Southampton to the Channel Islands at around 03:30 on 17 March, 1870, she was involved in a second, this time fatal, collision south of the Needles with a Baltic trader of 900 tons, the ss Mary and sank 20 minutes later, with a loss of 33 lives, including 16 crew. Another 31 persons were saved. 

The Mary was towed to Southampton, and the survivors were brought to Jersey by the Havre. The mails were lost, but later a floating bag was picked up and the mail delivered. The Court of Inquiry held the Normandy to blame for the collision.

Today the Normandy sits upright in 48-49 metres. Amidships her machinery section comprising her boilers and engines remain very much intact. Only the outline of the bow section visible above the seabed. Distance from Weymouth 25 miles.

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