Chichester BSAC club found a Tea Pot on this wreck long before she was formally identified as the Brigitta; in consequence she has affectionately remained for most diving clubs as the T POT.
Documented in Lloyd’s War Loses from WW1 ‘Casualties to shipping through enemy causes 1914-1918’, at Portsmouth maritime library.
It is thought that the T POT is the Brigitta, because its location and cargo alone suggest this.
Further defined from the book British, Allied and Neutral Vessels destroyed by submarines, mines, cruisers or aircraft from 4th August 1914 to 11th November 1918.
Also for reference the Shipwreck Index of the British Isles by Richard and Bridget Larn.
The Brigitta was called the Tenyson, and it is not certain when the name changed and why.
The Brigitta was an unspecified steel steam ship made in 1894 at JL Thomson and Sons at North Sands Shipyard in Sunderland with a weight of 2084 tons and dimensions of 85.34 x 11.88 x 5.27.
She was owned by PT London of Colonial Coal and Shipping Co Ltd, and at the time of sinking was run by Captain H.M. Pinkham carrying coal and other unspecified cargo.
It was an armed merchant vessel during the war times, that struck an intact mine laid by the German submarine UC-63 and floundered, with 2 crewmen dying in the process on 4th December 1917. She was going from Barry to Dieppe. The exact position of the incident is confused and, LCWLR states S/E of the nab light vessel whilst BVLS gives S/W of the nab in the region of 50.37N 00.48W.
It is thought Lloyd’s ref likely to be correct. Like all wrecks there is/will be over the years an element of wreck shift, destruction from other vessels and other weather driven chances for sight change.
There are many other documented vessels around the Brigitta that I’m sure are waiting to be discovered, but this wreck is particularly a good one for divers as it covers a wide area.
When she went down the Brigitta was fairly intact, until it was further destroyed by another passing vessel. This exploded the insides of the wreck exposing it to the sea bed. There is now a cardinal marker denoting this wreck.
Currently she is in 3 portions. The most ideal shot for divers is on the upturned hull. At the back is an intact prop that is proud of the sea floor and is astonishing in its size.
It is worth circumnavigating the whole hull with a strong beamed torch as there are swim-through's that are not safe but harbour many creatures that need the cover for protection. Look out for the tiny sea-slugs that hug the hull.
There are a variety of sponges of all different colours, and sea squirts. You will need a good local ID book when you come back to the boat, but note the species on your slate while diving.
Look out for shoals of bib, notable by the barb under the mouth and the brown/white stripes.
Station yourself at the front of the upturned hull, that rises above the boat, and swing a right to follow some decking at about a 20 degree turn to your right, to then come across the very visible boilers.
It is easier to follow the wreck this way round, as there is some difficulty going from the boilers to the hull, unless there is exceptional visibility.
There lives in one of the boilers the hugest conger on this planet.
There are jewelled anemones in this location tucked inside some metal parts, but you must look to find them. To the top of the boilers behind, are the guts of the wreck, which is spewed from here in an arc back to the hull.
It’s a huge area if you are brave enough to look at it all, and if you have time and sufficient air. If time is limited then follow from the boilers to one edge of the wreck nearby and along this part you just may find some crockery that has been found in that area.
With thanks to Tony Bates for all his research and help – Rod Reeves