|Bygget||Tollerort (Tyskland), 1922|
|Posisjon||61.039333 N, 4.731333 E|
Dampskipet Frankenwald endte sine dager i farvannet utenfor Ytre Sula i Sognefjorden den 6. Januar 1940. Det tyske skipet mister kontrollen og kjører på Brattholmen, hvor skipet raskt begynner å ta inn vann. Nødsignal blir deretter sendt som blir oppfanget av Bergen Radio, og kort tid etter forsvinner all elektrisitet. Mannskapet blir beordret i livbåtende og etterhvert blir alle tatt ombord av fiskefartøyer som kommer til assistanse og de blir deretter fraktet inn til Bergen. Skipet blir liggende ved Brattholmen uten at stort hender med henne på lang tid. I april samme år bryter den andre verdenkrig ut også i Norge og folk glemmer raskt Frankenwald. Først etter krigen får Frankenwald besøk, og da av Brødrene Anda som kutter av propellen. Stort mer skjer ikke med Frankenwald før sportsdykking blir populært mange tiår senere. I de senere årene har vraket blitt mye besøkt av sportsdykkere og er et populært dykkemål i området av landet. Vraket av Frankenwald befinner seg på en dybde av femten til tretti meter på vestsiden av Ytre Sula, og for å komme ut til området er du avhengig av båt...
A quick drive across Sognefjorden (Or torturous roller coaster ride..) gets you to Ytre Sula, and it is near here that you will find the wreck of the Frankenwald. She was a 122m long steamer that foundered on rocks on the 6th January 1940. She was crewed by occupying Germans, and local Norwegian fishing vessels were instructed to save her crew.
There is only one way to describe this wreck. WORLD CLASS! It is the perfect wreck, with swim throughs, holds, accommodation area, officer canteen, bridge, stern, two large holds, engine room and bow. 90% of the wreck is intact, even the masts! The only thing missing is the prop, which was salvaged shortly after the second world war.
UPDATE 2023: The superstructure is now collapsed. It is no longer possible to access the accommodation area, officer canteen and bridge area. In the aft end, the huge rudder quadrant is now easily accessible and a spectacular view together with the emergency wheel and geared connection to the quadrant.
The depth of the dive means that she is ideally suited to EAN28-32, and with a relatively short deco you can get a small taste of the wreck. Be aware that the site is tidal, and divers must be trained for wreck diving before taking this dive on. There is no cliff face to the surface, and divers should ensure they can return to the shot line. If you wish to dive the wreck please contact the local dive centre www.gulen-dykkesenter.com who will discuss arranging a trip with you. I personally recommend this operation, and if the owner says you are not ready to dive the wreck, LISTEN TO HIM!
I have sketched out a rough view of the depths the wreck lies at. NEVER ever tie into the masts. They are very old, and it would extremley foolish to tie into them. If you do shot the wreck we found the bridge area was fairly easy to spot, rising up from 40M to 25M instantly. This made a great place to put the shot line.
Assuming you have shot the line, then it is a case of choosing which way to go. The wreck lies with her stern towards the island, and personally I think the stern, then back to the bridge makes a fabulous dive. There some great swim throughs to be had both on the stern, and the bridge areas. Take care if you are penetrating the wreck, (And don't even THINK about it without proper overhead training) The wreck is silty and full of wires and other obstacles. In the accommodation area you can find the officers bathrooms, one even with shower. Craig Billingham took this nice shot of a bath in October 2004:
The accommodation can be found just below the bridge, and for those with the expertise this is well worth a look. But the wreck offers so much for the diver, even without penetration. The whole midships block rate in my top 10 ever wreck dives, and at such a reasonable depth! Below we can see how the bridge area was captured wonderfully by Mark Brill in 2003:
As I said before, a world class wreck! But care must be taken on the wreck, it is not the place to forget about gas management or decompression times, it is also a wreck that just cannot be dived in one go. Divers who have seen her keep coming back again and again, and rightly so! For those interested in seeing a dive profile from the wreck, here is one from of my dives. I was using EAN30 on the wreck and EAN50 for deco, a 35 minute dive with gas switch got me out of the water in about an hour. Divers with less conservative decompression algorithms could certainly get out quicker, but bear in mind a diver using air would only be getting 20 minutes of bottom time before decco, and so for "no-stop" divers, I would suggest you consider training for Nitrox before doing this dive. Again gulen-dykkesenter can arrange gas and training.
Other considerations for this dive, watch out for the tidal current, and be sure to carry and be trained to use a DSMB, as you will not want to ascend in the blue without one at this site. If you have a deep enough mix, the stern makes an interesting dive, the prop is gone but the rudder is an awe inspiring site, and the cut away of the hold makes it very much like a big cliff overhang. On a good day you can see a rock spar coming off the stern, making its crooked way to the waters above. On a bad day the current pulls to hard to get down to the rudder. So that's my guide for the wreck of the Frankenwald! I'll leave you with a photo of myself on the wreck, taken in October 2004 by Craig Billingham.
Film fra Youtube:
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