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SS Justicia formaly the SS Statendam 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.

WWI, the wreck of the 32,234-ton SS Justicia.

Demand for trans-Atlantic passenger crossings abated after WWI commenced, so the British government took over Justicia, putting it into service in 1917 as a troopship capable of carrying 4,000 soldiers. A year later, while heading to New York, the unladen Justicia came under attack from UB-64, which sent four torpedoes into the liner before Royal navy destroyers forced the persistent U-boat to break of. The submarine radioed the location to German high command, and the following day, UB-124 took up the assault, finishing of Justicia with two more torpedoes. The huge liner was sunk 25 miles from shore on July 20, 1918, with the loss of 16 men. UB-124 was not as lucky in its escape as UB-64: Forced to surface by the destroyers, it too was sunk.

Our skipper, Al Wright, knows this wreck well — he helped discover it in the 1990s. He precisely places the shot line near the bows; as we descend, the spectacular forward deck appears. Thereafter, progress seems slow as we explore the exposed lower decks — the wreck is so large that getting anywhere takes time. We make our way to the tip of the bow, and I sit on the seabed at 235 feet with the great ship towering before me, one of the most awe-inspiring sights of my diving career. But the tide waits for no diver, and we need to return to our shot line before the current starts again after the slack-water period. On our return journey, we fin over a deck that resembles a giant pinball machine due to capstans thrust upward through the decks. Finally, the remains of the bridge appear, giving us one last glance of this once-magnificent ship, one of the largest sunk in WWI.


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