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Wey Chieftain IV Contributes to Protected Status of WW1 Sub

14 May 2021

Resident of Weymouth Harbour, Wey Chieftain IV, has spent much time involved in the discovery, surveying and protection of our historical assets in local waters. In recent years, the discovery of cannon sites and the second world war wreck of Chasseur 7 led to sites being given protection by Historic England and the Royal Navy respectively.

Whilst conducting a survey project in 2018 on a protected wreck (HMS Formidable) with a team of expert technical divers in conjunction with the Royal Navy, the crew of Wey Chieftain IV dived the site of an unknown submarine which the team, with the aid of American WW1 submarine expert Michael Lowrey identified as the landmark British submarine HMS D1.

The subsequent reporting to and liaison with Historic England by lead diver, Steve Mortimer, and Wey Chieftain's skipper and diver Richard Bright-Paul, has lead to this site being given special protection.  This week, Historic England have announced her protected status - discover more at Historic England and BBC News.

HMS D1 was a pre-WW1 submarine developed in great secrecy. She was the Royal Navy's first ever long range attack submarine, first British sub designed to utilise diesel engines, first to use wireless radio transmission, saddle ballast tanks and a host of other innovations of her era.

An amazing contribution by the crew of Wey Chieftain IV!

Royal Navy submarine D1 with the crew on deck © Imperial War Museum Q 074831