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Description Team Logbook   

01/07/06 - 19/08/06EXPEDITION
Magical Iceland Tour

Posted by Jerome Konen on 19/08/06 Photo  Homepage
S/S El Grillo - Showdown of our Diving Tour
Photo by Jerome Konen
A buoy marks the stern in 30 meters depth of the S/S El Grillo shipwreck in the Seyðisfjörður fjord.
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16 August 2006 - A last phone call from Magnus, our supposed skipper from Seyðisfjörður, where he told us he couldn't take us out to the wreck of the S/S El Grillo. His job was just calling him back. Luckily he had a backup plan in his sleeve: Heimir from the local Rescue Team helped us out by giving us their rubber boat at our disposal for the dive.

The shipwreck of the British tanker S/S El Grillo can only be dived with a permission we had got already several days before. Fully equipped with drysuits and twin tanks, we had to go with the rubber boat across the fjord to the other side. A buoy is currently marking the stern of the wreck, supposed to be lying upright on a slight slope.

Arrriving in 30 meters depth, the impressive stern appeared in the greenish water. I was heavily impressed by the dimension of that wreck, a huge vessel, more than hundred meters long and pretty overgrown with white Sea Pinks, mainly on the superstructures. The visibility in the fjord is often reduced, luckily we had 6-8 meters today on the wreck. Openings on deck let us have a look inside, however Our powerful lights couldn't penetrate the eerie darkness in the cargo space.

Excerpt of the Icelandic Coast Guard report:
The S/S El Grillo sank without casualties whilst at anchor, as a result of an air attack by three German FW Condor Aircraft from Norway on 10 February 1944. At the time of sinking she was carrying a cargo of bunker oil for the replenishment of Naval vessels. Also onboard were Depth Charges held in storage racks above deck aft of the bridge - this cargo however, was not reported by the Captain at the time of sinking. The El Grillo was a Defensively Equipped Merchant Vessel, her armament was standard for the period and included 4 Oerlikon 20 mm Cannons for Air Defense, one 4 inch Medium Calibre Gun and one 12 Pounder High Angle Quick Fire Medium Calibre Gun. The only gun remaining on the vessel at present is the 4 inch, which is at the aft end of the vessel.

No bottom time left and already some decompression time ahead, we started our ascent back along the rope up to the buoy. No time for taking risks at this depths, especially as we had no surface assistant on the rubber boat.

Definitely a great wreck to dive on that I'll visit next time again. Bye, Bye Magical Iceland!

GPS Pos.: N 65.2635°  W 14.00319°
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