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Eagan Layne

Information

Distance From Shore:

Depth: 11-22m

Location: Position 50.19.606N 004.14.705W

History

The Eagan Layne is a well known wreck and would probably qualify for one of the UK’s most dived. She lies upright on the sea bed around 22 metres to the bottom. As a wreck she is ideal for novices and experienced divers alike. This year she earned a certain notoriety due to a number of incidents occurring at the site. However, these have to be put into context as she is easily accessed by dive boats from Plymouth and there are usually no problems with the dive. The old adage of planning your dive and diving your plan holds true on this site as indeed all other dive sites!

The Eagan Layne was an American Liberty ship bringing supplies to Britain during World War 2. Hundreds of these ships were built in the early 1940's, the Layne was built in December 1944 . As she passed near to Plymouth she was torpedoed by a German U boat (U-1195) between holds 4 and 5 on the starboard side, her steering gear failed and she began to flood. She was taken in tow to shallower water in Whitsand Bay where she gently sank upright on a sandy bottom. There were no casualties and much of her cargo was salvaged.

The Earl Eagan Layne before she was sunk

Diving the Eagan Layne

She is 440 ft long and was over 7000 tons gross weight. She lies in 22 metres with about 11 metres to her deck. The stern section of the wreck is separate from the main hull and lies about 25 m to the south.

Although the Layne is deteriorating she is an excellent dive. The sides of the Layne are covered with white dead man's fingers and soft corals. The bows are intact and make an amazing sight the first time you experience the size of the wreck. The Eagan Layne supports an enormous fish population where shoals of Pollack, Pouting and Bib mass on sections of the wreck. The holds are accessible although care needs to be taken swimming between the baulkhead stanchions. The stern section is separated from the main wreck by about 50m and was connected by a cable to make it easy to find. The stern is also buoyed separately. There is still some live ordinance in the stern section which should be left well alone.