Concha (Site 5004)
Documentary research and geophysical data have identified this wreck as the Belgian steamer Concha, built in 1877. The vessel sank after colliding with the steamer Saint Filians. The Concha's valuable cargo of tin and copper ore was salvaged shortly after its sinking, but the iron ore cargo still remains in and around the wreck site.
The site is situated 7.5nm SSE of Littlehampton, West Sussex between the Outer Owers and Kingmere Rocks. It lies in 10.7m (CD) of water on a sandy/gravelly seabed. The dimensions of the wreck are 66m in length and 7-10m in width.
In 2002 the site was geophysically surveyed by Wessex Archaeology, using sidescan sonar and magnetometer. The sidescan image shows the vessel upright on the seabed and largely unburied, and the magnetometer results indicate a large metal anomaly associated with the wreck; presumably a combination of the iron ore cargo and metal hull. Technical problems meant that no diving survey of the wreck was completed that year.
Most recently, in the summer of 2005, WA used a ROV (remotely operated vehicle) to survey the site, and obtain a video archive of the wreck site. Examples of the video footage together with underwater photos, a site plan and more information about the Concha (including its construction, fittings, machinery, cargo and artefacts) can all be viewed here.
A list of the Concha's vessel specifications from Lloyds Register can be viewed here.