A controversial dive: M/V Seattle

M/V Seattle

The German freighter M/V Seattle is considered to be one of Norway's best wrecks - but it is also a very controversial dive: Since 1996 four divers have perished on the wreck. One of them has not been recovered.

Posted on Jun 12, 2013

The 424 ft. freighter was built by Deutsche Werft AG in Hamburg 1928, and was on her way home from South America with tropical timer and 30.000 crates of oranges when war broke out in 1939.

Seattle was ordered to neutral harbor at Curaçao, then part of the Dutch Antilles, but was taken in arrest by the local authorities. All Germans ships were considered enemies.

A controversial dive: Since 1996, four divers have died while penetrating the wreck of M/V Seattle. Sadly, one diver is still trapped inside the wreck as rescue workers have been unable to recover the body.

Captain Lehmann was of course not happy with this, and finally managed to escape after weeks in arrest. He was later punished for not having escaped earlier...

Incredibly, the journey north through the Caribbean via Iceland to Tromsø in northern Norway was made without any navigational aids - they had all been confiscated by the Curaçao authorities.

Operation Weserübung

On the morning of April 9th 1940 the German invasion of Norway, Operation Weserübung, is in progress. Seattle is caught in the crossfire between Odderøya fort and the invasion fleet just outside Kristiansand on the Norwegian south coast.

The Norwegian defenders thinks Seattle is a German supply ship and part of the attacking fleet - while the Germans believe her to be English.

After being hit by several grenades, Seattle's timber cargo catches fire. She drifts in flames for a few days before sinking to the bottom on April 13, 1940. The wreck lies from 23-72 meters.

The stern of the huge freighter is relatively shallow (25-30 meters) and offers plenty of exploring opportunities. Maximum depth on the wreck is 72 meters.

Beautiful - but dangerous

Today, Seattle is recognized as one of the best wreck dives along the Norwegian coast. Sadly, the dive is also a controversial one: In 2010, two Danish divers perished while penetrating the wreck, presumably because some of the superstructure caved in over them.

There is a great risk that more parts of the superstructure of Seattle will collapse, and divers are strongly advised not to penetrate the wreck.

Get this story for your magazine!

Share this 2.300 word story accompanied by great images with your readers. It tells the tale of the incredible journey Seattle made from Curaçao via Iceland to Norway and the events that sealed her fate.

The story also remind divers of the dangers of penetrating wrecks and the controversy surrounding diving on a wreck where several divers have perished.

» Click here to inquire about this story


M-1104 Jan Hubert

In January 2011, after more than 20 years of searching, the German minesweeper M-1104 Jan...

S/S Dølen - A fresh water tug

Norway’s vast coastline is famous for its many great WWII wrecks, so why go wreck diving in a...

The unique twin wrecks of Gulen

In 1945 the rescue steamer Parat was called upon to help the grounded German freighter...
On January 20, 1937 the Finnish steamer S/S Savonmaa was surprised by one of the fiercest storms ever recorded in the northern Atlantic. Her entire crew of 26 perished off the southern coast of...
Come dive with the awesome Periphylla periphylla deep-water jellyfish at Gulen Dive Resort in January 2018 and experience exhillarating black-water diving from their 52 ft. dive yacht!
Latest Stories
Latest News
Latest Images

Telephone: +47 94 83 32 83
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Christian Skauge
Etterstadsletta 4 G
N-0660 Oslo, Norway


Latest News
Gear & Techniques
Website Screenshots

Latest Stories
Published Stories
Cover Shots
Underwater Photography
Dive Medicine & Education
Wreck Stories
Marine Biology

New Images
Featured Images
Sharks & Rays
Algae & Plants
Reefs & Scenery
ROV & Aquaculture
Travel Images
Upcoming Events
Nudibranch Safari
Periphylla Safari

Like us on Facebook
Skype Chat
About Sharing Images

Terms & Conditions
Nudibranch Resources

About me
Download Press Kit


The images and stories found on this website are the property of writer and underwater photographer Christian Skauge. The material is NOT FREE and may not be downloaded or used in any way without prior permission. Any unauthorized use is a copyright infringement and will be prosecuted accordingly. When buying an image or a story you naturally obtain all necessary rights to use the image in your desired context.
© Christian Skauge 2006-2013   |   www.scubapixel.com   |   Contact   |   Designed and developed by ScubaPixel