AMERICAN Army tanks have been found off the coast of Donegal.
The war machines ended up at the bottom of the Atlantic after going down aboard an American war vessels during World War Two!
The Empire Heritage was a tanker for the Ministry of War Transport. It was part of a convoy of nearly 100 ships en route from New York to the Clyde, when it was torpedoed and sunk 28km northwest of Malin Head on 8 September 1944.
The Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI) and the Marine Institute has launched an illustrated book entitled “Warships, U-Boats & Liners – A Guide to Shipwrecks Mapped in Irish Waters”.
The tanks off Malin Head are featured.
Many of the 300 shipwrecks featured in the book where not know about before this survey.
The publication was launched by Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan, TD together with Fergus O’Dowd TD, Minister of State, Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.The GSI and
According to Minister O’Dowd, the collaboration has “truly made Ireland a leader in this field of Endeavour.”
Minister Deenihan said “The current database holds over 13,000 wrecks and is an essential management tool for the preservation, protection and promotion of Ireland’s rich maritime archaeological heritage.”
O’Dowd, commented that “as an island nation we instinctively know that our seas are important, but perhaps we are not fully aware of the scale of this natural resource and heritage they hold”.
He added that “over 80% of our national territory lies beneath our seas, and that many of the benefits that might be realised for the Country from this resource, are as yet undiscovered.”
Other vessels sunk off the Donegal coast include: The Justica (below) passenger liner, capable of carrying 3,430 passengers, was lost on 20 July 1918 off Malin Head. On 19 July, it was en route from Liverpool to New York when it was attacked by UB-64. It survived that attempt. The next day, it was attacked again when it was under tow. Eventually it sank, with the loss of 16 lives.
The HMS Audacious (below now and at the time of the sinking), a 23,000-tonne dreadnought battleship, considered to be unsinkable, sank in 27 October 1914 off Malin Head after striking a mine.