Wreck 5013 The Bottle Wreck


Wrecksite 5013 is situated south-east of Selsey Bill in the Outer Owers. The general depth on site is 19.7m (CD). The wreck was first located by the Admiralty in 1944. In 1985 UKHO divers examined the site and described it as the remains of a wooden sailing barge with a cargo of cast-iron pipes, wine and beer bottles. The wreck has been extensively dived by sports divers and a number of items have been lifted from the site. Some artefacts can be seen in Littlehampton Museum. Wessex Archaeology carried out a geophysical survey of the wreck, but the site could only be dived once due to adverse weather conditions.


The multibeam data shows a 14m long and ca. 6m wide stepped anomaly with a maximum height of 2m on the seabed. According to Wessex Archaeology diver observations this is probably the main cargo of stacked cast iron pipes, possibly gas pipes. No ship structure was observed during the assessment dive.
A consultation of various documentary sources did not produce any results. It is only through secondary sources that the wreck can be characterised as a small sailing coaster or barge that sank in the beginning of the 19th century. A length over 14m and a breadth over 6m has to be assumed for the vessel.