26 Aug 2008
The Richard de Larrinaga, a 5358 ton steamship was attacked and severely damaged by German aircraft on the 12 th May 1941 whilst she was on passage from the Tyne for St Lawrence. She was subsequently beached and abandoned in 8 metres of water some 500 metres off Trow rocks apparently following an unsuccessful attempt to tow the stricken vessel back to the relative safety of the Tyne.
The wreck has been extensively salvaged over the intervening years with the result that other than the 3 large boilers there is little left to indicate that this was once a large cargo vessel that measured over 126 metres in length! That said, considerable wreckage remains hidden under the soft sandy bottom. Winter storms occasionally uncover new pieces of wreckage with the result that this site is continually changing, offering the tantalising possibility of interesting trinkets turning up.
On this dive we were greeted by reasonable underwater visibility of around 6 metres. Numerous lobsters of varying sizes appeared to indicate that the wreck has not been recently visited by the hunter gatherer diving community!
The remains of the double hulled bottom could be observed emerging out of the seabed along with an assortment of rusting pipes and other engine room debris. It nevertheless offers a reasonable rummage dive .
With the nights beginning to draw in, we returned back down the Tyne with the sun setting over the skyline of North Shields .