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Scuba Diving in Baltimore, County Cork, Ireland, Europe
Dive Site: U-260
Location: 51°29'09"N; 009°06'14"W (Near Castletownshend, County Cork, Ireland, Europe)
Description: 1070 ton VII C-Class German Submarine
Length: 67 metres (220 feet)
Depth: 38 - 42 metres (125 - 138 feet)
Visibility: 5 - 15 metres (15 - 50 feet)
The U-260 was commissioned in March 1942 and sank in uncertain circumstances in a NE-SW direction with a slight port list. The official reports claim that it hit a mine before being scuttled, but it is obvious that there was no mine damage suffered when you see the wreck so it is believed that it actually was scuttled as it was rumoured to be involved in some covert operations. All 48 crew members survived and were held as Prisoners of War until the war ended. John from Baltimore divers was in the party that discovered the wreck in the 1980's whilst diving nearby 78 Rock.
If you are lucky enough to have good vis when you dive this submarine you will be able to get a really good impression of what it looks like when hovering above it at around 35 metres. It lies nearly perfectly intact on the sandy seafloor with the conning tower open so you can look inside and the periscope up with the glass still in place. There are torpedoes in the tubes and an aft gun and the twin propellers still as they should be. Marine life included a few congers around the conning tower and a free-swimming dogfish. The depth of this dive means unless using twin cylinders you will get a short bottom time before hitting decompression, but the dive is well worth the effort.
Dived on a 15l tank, needed for comfort on ascent. You only get 10 min max so don't hang around. Dropped by John at Baltimore Diving on the conning tower, periscope still intact and hatch open to look in. Decided not to try to see it all this time so went astern to view the hydroplanes and prop. Lots of torpedoes on the way. Looking forward to going back to see the bow & torpedo tubes.
Colman Byrne, PADI Rescue Diver
Dived on 15l tank, got a good 20 mins but had deco to do, was amazing though - it's in amazing condition and the vis is something else, really can't wait to go back, and dive with John again.
JJ, BSAC Advanced Diver
Has the wreck been proved to be U-260? On Dec 27th 1944 at 51°39"02'N, 08°05"12'W, the USS Dale W. Peterson (DE-337) attacked a submerged contact with hedgehogs and later with depth charges. A large quantity of oil was observed. No further contact was made. Have unexploded hedgehogs been seen on the bottom in this area?
I apologize for my earlier and perhaps misleading comments. Upon further research, I think it is very unlikely that this could be the submarine attacked by the Dale W. Peterson. The position given by the Peterson (and independently agreed to by the escort commander on board the USS McDougal DD-358) would put the attack too far away from this wreck.
David Phelps | 09/10/2009
My father was a crew member on the D.W.Peterson when they attacked this sub and recalled the story to me.
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