HMS Unity

30th July 2010

by Andy Hunt

HMS Unity was a Royal Navy U-class submarine that was lost after a collision with the Norwegian ship Atle Jari in poor visibility on the 29 th April 1940. Lieutenant John Low and able Seaman Henry Miller sacrificed themselves to save the crew by remaining behind in the flooded control room. The rest of the crew escaped and were rescued.

The wreck is deep, with the seabed at 55m and the top of the conning tower at 48m.

Members of Tyneside were invited to join a dive team to visit the site. Hubert was quite well prepared and dived on trimix with Dave Lucas, both on rebreathers. Andy hadn’t quite got around to getting some trimix and so settled for twin 12’s and some 60% in a side mount instead.

The group dived as a threesome and headed down the shot line into the gloom. As were were quite far offshore it was dark but the visibility was good. The hull is now covered white dead mens fingers and plumose anenomes and could be clearly seen without torches from 40m.

The wreck is pretty well fully intact, apart from the collision damage, and lies quietly tilted over on its starboard size. The submarine looks more graceful and less menacing that a german U-boat, possibly because of the more streamlined hull and lack of a deck gun.

A good dive and one worth doing again. Thanks to Dale from Morpeth Dolphins for bringing the team together and inviting members of Tyneside branch to join them.