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Ferndale & Parat

Location

Krakhella

Position

61 10N 05 01E

Depth

Ferndale 8-45m Parat 40-60m

Chart

N787

The Ferndale was a 4300gt motor vessel built in 1925. Her dimensions were 116x16x8 metres. She was Norwegian-owned, but was commandeered by the Germans during WW2. On 15th December 1944 she hit the Seglesteinen in Krakhellasund while sailing at night in a convoy. The following day the 135t tug Parat came to her assistance, but later the same day the two vessels were attacked by British Mosquitos and they sank alongside each other. Two Mosquitos and their crews were lost during the attack.

The wrecks lie with their bows to the N and with a rocky ridge running along their starboard sides. The seabed slopes downward at an angle of about 25 degrees. The bows of the Ferndale are collapsed and covered in kelp, but from a depth of 20m the wreck is upright and intact. There are many swimthroughs available for those so inclined, including one beneath the hull at about 18m. The auxiliary steering gear is at the stern at 38m. The seabed at the stern is about 45m.

The Parat lies upright with her bow almost touching the starboard side of the Ferndale's stern. The stern rail of the Parat is at 56m. Guns lie on the seabed either side of the Parat's bow (but I could only find one in August 2005): it is possible that these guns came from the stern of the Ferndale. A good way to finish a dive on these wrecks is to contour round to the E side of the rocky ridge and follow it N and upwards to 10m, where it eventually leads to a beautiful vertical wall from 10m to the surface on the NE side of the Seglesteinen. The wall is covered in plumose anemones, and is an excellent place to complete decompression and/or safety stops. The water at this site is normally crystal clear. There is sometimes a current at this site, but it is generally confined to the upper few metres of water, and has never been unmanageable. This is a superb dive by any standards.

Links

http://home.eunet.no/~atleto/vrak/vrak.htm

http://www.skovheim.org/located/sogn/ferndale/ferndale.htm

http://www.diving-in-norway.com/ferndale.htm