SS Reginald; An Orkney Blockship

Sitting close to the shore, cut in two is SS Reginald.  A blockship from World War 1, this rusting remnant of the past sits in Weddell Sound at the south end of Barrier 3.  Fulmars make their home on the upturned stern and a seal lounges around in the waters nearby, unaware of the man made structure that it lives alongside.

She was an iron steamship, built in 1878 and sunk as a blockship by the Admiralty on 15th September 1915.  There were a number of blockshps sunk in the entrances to Scapa Flow in an attempt to protect the British Fleet from German submarines.  Larger entrances were protected with anti-submarine netting but the smaller entrances were protected with ships intentionally placed and then scuttled.

SS Reginald protected the Weddell Sound between Glims Holm and Burray, a narrow stretch of water that now has a permanent Churchill Barrier in place.  Today she is listing to her starboard side.  Her decks can be seen in the stern section with her bow sitting just a little further north east.  All are being slowly corroded by the seas of Scapa Flow that she once protected.


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