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Scuba Diving

When conditions are right this area of coast provides some magnificent diving. With rock outcrops and ship wrecks in abundance divers can enjoy shore and boat dives. An example of the wrecks in the area is that of the Rohilla.

Divers heading out of Whitby harbour

The ROHILLA was a HOSPITAL SHIP, the definition of which is - an Ocean Liner taken over by the Admiralty in time of war, which is then equipped as a hospital for the movement and evacuation of sick and wounded personnel.

These vessels are strictly none combatant and therefore are not armed in any way.
Distinctively marked, being painted white and having a red cross on the funnel and sides of the ship, and unlike most other vessels in wartime they are illuminated at night whilst at sea.

DATE WRECKED: 30 October 1914
POSITION: N54 29 47 / W00 35 46 DEPTH: 18m  
LENGTH: 140.0 m WIDTH: 17.1m DRAUGHT: 9.3m

REASON FOR WRECK: First believed to have struck a mine , but in fact it was while journeying from Leith to Dunkirk, to evacuate wounded personnel she ran onto rocks south west of Whitby during gale force conditions.

REMARKS: The Rohilla was a liner built in 1906 for the British Steam Navigation Company and was converted during the early part of WWI into a HOSPITAL SHIP.

The Museum at the old Lifeboat Station in Whitby has a display which includes relics from the ship and details of the wrecking along with that of other unfortunate vessels that came to grief in the nearby waters.

More information about diving in the waters off Whitby are to be found on Colin Brittain's website

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