Meet new scuba divers, maintain a virtual dive log, participate in our forum, share underwater photos, research dive sites and more. Members login here.

Upload Photo

SS Empire Heritage is a boat accessible salt water dive site, located in Malin Head, Ireland. The maximum depth is over 150ft/46m. The average visibility is 81-90ft/25-27m.

55.27N, 08.01W

The shipping lanes near Malin Head, Ireland, were strategically vital for Allied supply lines. During World War II, Hitler’s forces recognized that if they could do enough damage to the convoys, they could strangle U.S. and British forces. U-boat “wolfpacks” were deployed to destroy as much shipping as possible. On Sept. 8, 1944, as more than 100 ships in convoy HX-305 neared the Irish coast, U-482 fired a single torpedo into the SS Empire Heritage, a former whaler carrying 16,000 tons of fuel. A catastrophic explosion sank the ship so quickly that no distress signals were sent. But for the survivors, the ordeal was not over. Just over 30 minutes later, their rescue vessel Pinto was also struck. Pinto was gone in 90 seconds, and the double sinking caused huge loss of life.

As we descend onto Empire Heritage, a myriad of dark shadows reveal a scene of total chaos. Sherman tanks lie entangled with trucks like discarded toys, spread across the wreck and seabed. Empire Heritage had been carrying nearly 2,000 tons of war supplies; some sit upright and intact, while others are still racked neatly in the holds up to three deep. While visibility remains good at around 90 feet, rougher sea conditions today have reduced ambient light, casting an eerie gloom over the wreck.

Years of wave action have smashed in the superstructure of this 15,702-ton wreck — one of the largest ships sunk in WWII — which now rises very little above the gravel seabed at about 225 feet. At this depth, to see its entire 500-foot length in one dive would require diver-propulsion vehicles; without them we don’t attempt to reach the aft areas of the ship. Here we would have found the engines and six huge boilers arranged in rows of three. Instead we head forward, where the remains of the holds teem with fish. Our bottom time soon nears 30 minutes, so we look for the flashing strobe that marks our ascent line to a decompression platform.



More info;

More info;

Dive Site Map

Click to Load Map