Shonas Wrecks - Pandora's Box

This page is an entry in Shonas Wreck Guide.


Sketch of wreck today

The 'Pandora' is currently a mystery. Rumour has it that she was named by the first divers to visit her. They apparently found a large 'chest' on the seabed next to the wreck. They struggled to open it, and when they finally did - it was empty. Thus her name 'Pandora's Box' was coined.

Her identity still remains a mystery, but as more people are diving her now, she should be starting to give up more clues. The few facts that I'm aware of are:

1...She's a four-hold single screw iron steamer of approx 1500 tons

2...She was carrying a cargo of corrugated asbestos/iron sheets

3...She was armed with a 13pdr stern gun - British Admiralty shells which were made in December 1916

4...Some of her more ornamental fittings are marked with a Keil makers stamp

5...Some of her deck fittings are British (one bunker cover is marked "Clayton Fire Delivery System - No 4 hold aft").

She is almost certainly the 'S.S Helene', built in Keil, Germany and requisitioned by the British at the outbreak of WW1. The 'Helene' was sunk by u-boat in January 1917 is that approx position - except that she is recorded as having been in ballast on her voyage!

The vessel appears to be carry corrugated asbestos/iron sheets - the type used to build Anderson Shelters during WW2, or possibly used in the tranches in WW1. Her two boilers are clearly visible, but he engine is buried under part of her cargo. A significant number of portholes were salved from the wreck in 92/93, but these give no indication of her origin. Other items recovered from the wreck include fire-fighting equipment, kitbag handle with lock (possibly suggesting that she was carrying armed forces?)

TBC