View Full Version : A Dive thru the U-853 (6-10-07 scuba video)

06-13-2007, 06:40 AM

A couple of my buddies did a penetration dive on the U-853 Sunday. What's special about this video is that they penetrated the wreck and got some high quality digital video. Bill carries with him a huge HID light that lights up the bottom of the ocean. I've only dove the U-853 once and wont penetrate it myself as I'm not trained for penetration diving and am limited to a 10 minute bottom time since I only dive regular air.

My buddies Bill and Joe use mixed gases and enables them to achieve a longer bottom time. The U-853 was the last German U-Boat sunk after its self torpedoed the Blackpoint of Point Judith, RI and Block Island, NY.

The wreck sits on the sand at 130 ft and you can reach the conning tower at 90ft

Thought Ide share this with you guys.
If you have the Uplug extension for firefox you can grab this video.

06-13-2007, 08:01 AM
Thanks for the link! Really interresting!

This is among the things written about U-853 on www.uboat.net: (http://www.uboat.net:)
"Sunk 6 May, 1945 in the North Atlantic south-east of New London, in position 41.13N, 71.27W, by depth charges from the US destroyer escort USS Atherton and the US patrol frigate USS Moberly. 55 dead (all hands lost).
Some sources state that the destroyer USS John D. Ericsson (DD-440) is also credited with the sinking of the boat. My own sources disagree and what I consider the best source does not mention the destroyer as responsible. However, she was certainly in the area and dropped depth charges on or near the boat so she should probably have some credit for its loss."

This would probably make U-853 a war grave, and thus not the most apropriate wreck to swim through, though..


06-13-2007, 11:25 AM
Thanks for the additional infor Skarpo

We are having a slight discussion about the ethics of the dive thru on Scubaboard.com. There are bones scattered about the wreck and holes have been blasted into the structure form both the charges and from divers wanting to get inside. So you can see the remains if you peek into a hole and shine your flashlight inside.

Way back divers brought a skull to Newport, RI causing quite an uproar.

I hear that once spotted all sorts of boats went out to get a shot at it and there are still live charges on the sand around the wreck at 130'.

06-13-2007, 11:50 AM
Interesting but if thats a war grave then going inside is a big no no

06-13-2007, 11:58 AM
never go on a ocean boat ride with "godfather" music playing in the background... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/winky.gif

06-13-2007, 12:21 PM
I'm not good with memorizing details. Is the same uboat in the book Shadow Divers?

06-13-2007, 01:26 PM
The Shadow Divers book referenced the U-WHO the U-869 off NJ. Definitly a great book to read. That was featured on some actual nationally televised documentaries and also describes the tail of Chris and his fathered who died from the bends after an ESA (emergency surface accent) using just air as they refused to use mixed gases on that dive.

06-13-2007, 02:20 PM
That's some pro-class diving by all means. The clip shows great detail on how the wreck has archeologised, too.
Still, ethically it's a no-go, IMO. Maybe with ROVs you could go inside, but is that really necessary either, I dunno. I know that the ethics enter an increasingly grey area the older a wreck containing human remains.
With such a resent wreck I think the situation is very clear: Do not disturb the inside of the wreck. Bringing back a skull is straight desecration.
Oh, and don't take any parts as souveniers either, or one day the wreck is scattered in rusting parts between umpteen divers' book shelves. Look But Don't Touch so others can too. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

06-13-2007, 03:03 PM
I just finished Shadow Divers a few weeks ago.


If you read it as a screenplay, you'd say "No way - that's nuts - those guys are crazy."

Amazing read - highly recommended.

06-13-2007, 04:17 PM
Cool thanks http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gifhttp://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gifhttp://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

06-14-2007, 04:51 AM
I agree Lodovik just view and dont touch and that goes for any historic wreck in the RI waters for all I know. I see too much divers picking apart wrecks to find that one souvenier and when we go back 5 years later there are lots of pieces spread around ground.

Yes that is insane diving especially if you see these guys taking off their tanks and slipping thru a entrance and then pulling their equipment in to put it back on and doing the dive all at 100 to 200 feet as in the case of the U-869.

06-14-2007, 06:14 AM

What an eery atmosphere down there! No way I would ever dare to swim inside a sunken sub. And there's crabs everywhere. I hate crabs! They probably ate all of the crew.

You should have used the Das Boot theme!

06-14-2007, 06:33 AM
For those interested, which would mostly be divers, the book "The Last Dive" is a detailed account of the Rouse's fatal dive on the U-869 as well as their diving background and experience, which was extensive. It also details the authors dive on the Andrea Dora where he was severely bent after losing his orientation and ending up at the opposite end of the boat from his ascent/deco. bottles.