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Solo dive on the U853 WWII German Submarine

Discussion in 'Solo Divers' started by FiddlerOnTheRoof, Apr 30, 2015.

  1. FiddlerOnTheRoof

    FiddlerOnTheRoof Barracuda

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Connecticut
    Two of my favorite things about scuba diving are solo diving and wreck diving. The peaceful feeling experienced while diving solo is something I very much look forward to at the end of every work week as an opportunity to get out and enjoy my favorite sport or hobby as some call it. For me scuba is a way of life and an essential part of my life and how I keep myself mentally healthy. Wreck diving on the other hand, fuels my Portuguese explorer blood and when you can have a nice solo wreck dive you then have the best of both worlds. This week I had a chance to go out with a my friend Tom on his boat and do a nice solo dive on the U853 German submarine U-853 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Tom is not a diver, but he enjoys is fishing so we loaded his boat with all the usual amenities including the BBQ grill and off we went to the wreck site. Took us a couple of hours but soon we were tied to the mooring line and I wasted no time getting myself ready for a solo dive that I had been planning for a long time. I made sure to give my boat buddy all the details about my dive, length of dive, etc and when to expect me back. I was just about half way ready to jump in the water but kind of felt sorry leaving Tom behind, but to my relief he was already up front on the bow casting away! So into the water I go, along the surface line towards the mooring line to start my descent to around 121 feet. The current was a little crazy as it usually is at this dive site, but after giving Tom a waive and the OK sign I started my plunge to the deep. As I started my descent my mind anticipates and remembers the last time I was at the sub a few years ago with some of my dive buddies. After a few minutes, I arrived at the wreck and immediately noticed a few changes to the structure. I notice it has broken apart some more as the water, currents and local storms erode this fine historical wreck. I remember my first dive on it many years ago and carrying a few bones and a complete skull further into the wreck to protect it and how much more intact it was... After dropping my safety al80 at the bottom of the mooring I proceeded to the forward blast hole where we usually penetrate the sub. Many of the inside components and cables were still there littering the floor. I proceeded to navigate my way towards the forward torpedo tubes and noticed a couple of skeletal remains, your typical femur and such but I did not have my mesh bag with me today so I left them behind. In the past, any time we found bones so close to the entrance we picked them up and dropped them further into the wreck with all the others. Soon I reached the forward torpedo tubes and continued towards the forward loading hatch where I would get to see day light again. Once there I got out and worked my way under the diving planes towards the bow. Once at the bow I got over on the top of the sub and worked my way along the top towards the back to my next entrance near the control room. Once inside I squeezed in through the round passage to the control room and found myself back in the darkness. The control room is an interesting area of the sub... Most of the controls still sit there intact, but fully incrusted with this brown stuff and cable lines protruding out of them. I continued to work myself around the vertical pipes and through the next round tube like passage towards the diesel motor room. After navigating past the diesel motor room I finally made it to the stern torpedo tube. This area is pretty blown-up and I am able to see daylight again. For some reason this area seems to be a popular hangout to hundreds of fish!

    So it's time to get back to the mooring line and do my short deco stops and catchup with my friend Tom up above. It was a nice dive but kind of spooky at times, especially diving along the inside of the sub and particularly in the area where most of the 55 young Nazi sailors rest their bones. I have seen many bones before, but solo diving and staring down a skull gives you a feeling that is hard to explain!

    As for Tom, he was happy to have his friend back on board and we proceeded to enjoy a late lunch consisting of scallops and fish on the grill along with a wonderful view of Block Island, the ocean and a nice cold beer.

    Anyway, I hope you were not to bored with my adventure! I leave you with my favorite song lyrics by Dylan...

    "May you grow up to be righteous
    May you grow up to be true
    May you always know the truth
    And see the lights surrounding you
    May you always be courageous
    Stand upright and be strong
    May you stay forever young"
  2. sportxlh

    sportxlh Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: formerly Palm Beach Gardens, FL: now Atlanta
    Very cool dive report: thanks for sharing.
  3. FiddlerOnTheRoof

    FiddlerOnTheRoof Barracuda

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Connecticut
  4. shoredivr

    shoredivr Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Ontario
    Nice dive report and now I can hum the soundtrack!
  5. FiddlerOnTheRoof

    FiddlerOnTheRoof Barracuda

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Connecticut
    What does it sound like??
  6. Tug

    Tug ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    Thanks for the report! I can't wait to get back out on her this summer:

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  7. oldschoolto

    oldschoolto Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: maine
  8. Omisson

    Omisson Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Whitestone, New York, United States
    It's a great northeastern wreck. Hard to believe the Germans were on our coast in WWII (and WWI)
  9. CT-Rich

    CT-Rich Solo Diver

    Thanks for the dive report, it sounds like it was an amazing dive, and I appreciate you sharing it. However, I do major concern here. I know that at other times divers have messed with the skeletal remains on U-853, so you certainly wouldn't be the first, and I know your intentions were good. But U853 is a war grave. The men that died there were sailors in the German Kriegsmarine, who, right or wrong died in service of there country. They should rest where they fell.

    Last edited: May 31, 2015
  10. descent

    descent Solo Diver

    Interesting perspective, CT-Rich.

    Leaving aside US, German, and international maritime law for a minute, and just talking about our own wishes and desires ...

    If you had been a crew member who went down with the U853, what would you want?

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