Day One: 4th May 2002

Target: U1271

Depth: 57 metres

Weather and sea conditions: Wind SE 3. Fair.

Underwater visibility: 20-25m linear

Diving report:

It seems that U861 (our primary target) is getting harder to locate, probably because she is deteriorating badly. We chose to dive the wreck of U1271 instead.

This U-boat foundered on tow during Operation Deadlight.

The wreck is completely intact. It lists over to port and apart from the usual loss of the thin metal around the conning tower, she shows all the features one would expect to see on a late-was Type VII.

The underwater visibility was, as usual stunning, with most of the wreck coming into view while the divers descended. This U-boat has been fitted with a ring-float schnorchel and large life raft canisters either side of the mount for the 37mm gun. Also there are four canisters on the bow, one of which seems to have been opened and salvaged.

Interestingly the UZO telegraph is in place and is of the type with the 'halo' bearing disk. Interestingly - the Lennart Lindberg method of identification falls down here. The port side slot configuration reads 3/16/4 which does not register with the list in Groner. 1271 should have 3/16/2 according to the book.

Amazing video footage on another absolutely stunning U-boat dive.

We were watched by a Basking Shark while decompressing!


Deadlight is back! - Tomorrow we are going to dive another unidentified Type VII. From tomorrow evening we have a magnetometer on board for the rest of the expedition. This should assist us in finding some of the more remote offshore U-boats. So far, the weather has been with us!

Innes McCartney

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