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"Ignaty Prokhorov" Russian Steamer


Depth: 90 .
Date of sinking: 1918

  A Russian steamer, formerly known as the Wermounth, which was built by Stand Slipway Co, England, in 1886 and owned by Fenwick & Co.

  Her displacement was 1265 ( 1369 ) brt.

  The ship measured approximately 70 meters in length.

  In 1891 she was bought by S. Tourcoul and registered in Odessa, the ship's name was changed to Ignatiy Prokhorov.

  In 1903 she changed hands again, being bought by S.L.Karapatnitskiy.

  In 1915 the Ignatiy Prokhorov was requisitioned by the Imperial Russian Navy for use as a naval auxiliary ( Transport No. 27 ) during the First World War.

  At some moment, most probably in late 1917 the steamer came under control of the Whites operating in the Black Sea region.

  In November 1918 the Ignatiy Prokhorov ( Transport No. 27 ) struck a mine and sank.

  In her engine-room we found a steam-engine manufacturers plate with a name of its makers and a year of construction. The deck-house is around 80 meters down with the base of the wreck at 90 meters. The wreck lies on an even keel. Highlights :   open holds, engine-room and a lot of unexplored compartments.
"Ignaty Prokhorov" Russian Steamer
Ignaty Prokhorov Russian Steamer
(photo TekForce)
"Ignaty Prokhorov" Russian Steamer
Ignaty Prokhorov Russian Steamer
(photo TekForce)
"Ignaty Prokhorov" Russian Steamer
Ignaty Prokhorov Russian Steamer
(photo TekForce)

"Ignaty Prokhorov" Russian Steamer
Ignaty Prokhorov Russian Steamer
(photo TekForce)
"Ignaty Prokhorov" Russian Steamer
Ignaty Prokhorov Russian Steamer
(photo TekForce)
"Ignaty Prokhorov" Russian Steamer
Ignaty Prokhorov Russian Steamer
(photo TekForce)

"Ignaty Prokhorov" Russian Steamer
Ignaty Prokhorov Russian Steamer
(photo TekForce)
"Ignaty Prokhorov" Russian Steamer
Ignaty Prokhorov Russian Steamer
(photo TekForce)

  After first minutes on the wreck we lost any doubts : this was a well-preserved old steamer.   Our first supposition that it was a paddle boat was refuted by a gigantic propeller which had embedded itself into the bottom. A steel hull, a well-preserved guard rail -   everything was absolutely free of silt sediments. Open hatches at the stern led somewhere below, closer to the holds one could see the remains of a big steering-wheel. Empty davits hung over the boards. Open after holds showed that this was a cargo carrier. Swimming to the wreck's central section we descended into the first hold. The cargo holds of astonishing sizes were connected with each other providing an easy swim-through for divers. One of them contained a huge propeller on its bottom. Rusty ladders descended from a deck to the lowest level. Rusty outgrowths hung down from the boards and these ladders - I had seen such in photos from the Titanic. Behind the holds there was a lengthy superstructure, connected to the deck by two rising ladders. In its upper part there was a caboose and entrances into the inner steamer rooms. An open hatch behind the caboose led into the engine-room, first into a small " hall ", and straight from above through the entrance one could see a huge slide-valve on a steampipe of the steam-engine and a darkening passage to the lower deck which housed it. In the beginning of the superstructure the bridge was placed just where it should be. Wide windows were deprived of glasses and let divers easily penetrate through them with tanks on. Inside the bridge were the remains of the ship's furniture, utensils and something else, a debris field in which one could see something familiar making a guess. Though there an intact cupboard stood, apparently for keeping papers. We also noticed a bottle and remains of some papers on its shelves and a barometer hanging on the wall on the left of the cupboard. The fore holds were also open and made for excellent swim-throughs from one into another. In the piles of trash on their bottom there were remains of their cargo, planes and rubbish, and cargo beams with ropes which became covered in growth hung over the holds. We ascended out of the hold and swimmed towards the bow that was clearly visible at that time. The bow section had been broken up and was lifted upwards due to the collision with the sea-floor. It had a superstructure with two doors.

  On all dives that we have made on this object we have found no signs of destruction or something similar involved in the ship's loss, the reason of which has remained a mystery until now. In the steamer's deck-house, right on a desk, we have found the remains of a log-book as well as a fragment of a semaphore commands desk book with detailed description of the commands. To my mind, it is easier to learn Japanese. The log-book contains fragmentary records detailing routes and stays of the ship. Fortunately the captain made them in pencil which, combined with excellent quality of paper produced at that time, helped to preserve these artefacts underwater during a century until our own days. In the engine-room we have found a plate with a stamped name of steam-engine manufactures - SUNDERLAND ENGINE WORKS - and a date of construction ( 1886 ) on a boiler.

  Afterwards on a repetitive dive we found the ship's name at the stern - Ignatiy Prokhorov.





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