Shonas Wrecks - Baygitano

This page is an entry in Shonas Wreck Guide.

Schematic plan of the 'Baygitano' as she is today
Sketch of the wreck of the 'Baygitano'.

Name: Baygitano (Ex Cayo Gitano)
Built: 1905 by J Readhead & Sons, South Sheilds
Tonnage 3073 Grt
Machinery: 3cyl Triple Expansion (318 nhp) fired by 2 Boilers
Dim: 101 x 14 x 5
Flag: UK
Owner: Bay Steamship Co Ltd
Manager: Sale & Co, London
Master: A Murrison
Armnament: Stern Mounted 14pdr
Crew: 37
Cargo: In ballast
Sunk: Torpedoed by UC77 at 11:45 on the 18th March 1918 whilst on voyage from Le Havre to Cardiff in ballast. 2 lost - 4th Engineer and Chief Engineer.

This is a wreck of a well-flattened steamer, lying approx 1.5 miles due South of the Cobb at Lyme Regis. The only parts of the wreck which stand up are the boilers, engine and the bow section.

From the bows, a large part of the structure lies to the West of the main wreckage - standing up 5 or 6 meters off the seabed. It is possible to enter this section through a hatch coming with plentry room inside for two divers to explore and turn around. The only exit is back through the entry hole so don't attempt this is poor vis.

Swimming aft of the bow, the diver coveres an area of flattened decking and the collapsed port hull. There are numerous deck fittings and holes to drop into and rummage around. Continuing on, you will come across the front of the two main boilers, which have rolled slightly to the East. Behind these lie a single auxilliary boiler which is broken up allowing a diver to swim insdie and still turn round.

Immediately behind the Auxilliary boiler lies the upright engine. This is leaning to starboard, with the final LP cylinder broken away revealing the LP piston. The engie is covered in life and is usually plagued by shoals of Bib.

To the casual observer, the wreck appears to stop at this point, but if you line-up the crankshaft of the engine and swim directly asternover a sandy seabed, you'll pass within sight of two large water tanks and then pick up the prop-shaft tunnel. Continuing aft from here, one of the stern masts lies across the tunnel stretching out East over the seabed. The wreckage here gets more substantial with deck fittings and hull features again getting more recognisable.

All too soon, the stern looms up and the wreckage appears to end. The stern is now well flattened, with little obvious features to see apart from the rudder which the diver can swim under and get underneath the starboard hull. If you stop in the stern area and look carefully at the wreckage, you'll start to see shapes of the 14pdr shells which served the ships gun. The gun may be in here somewhere, burried under the wreckage.

If you swim off to the starboard side seabed, you'll come across bits and pieces from the rigging, and eventually pick up the end of the stern mast. One of the features out here is an area of gunwall with handrails sticking vertically out of the seabed, allowing the diver to rest here awhile!

The vis on this wreck is generally extremely good with 10m the norm in the summer months. The wreck can be dived at ALL states of the tide and is sheltered from Northerly winds up to a force 5. The depth on the wreck is a uniform 21m at High Water, as it lies on a fairly flat seabed.