Wreck 5009 Talis


Wrecksite 5009 is situated south-east of Beachy Head in East Sussex in 15.2m deep water (CD). The wreck was discovered by HMS Goldfinch in 1906, when a mast was showing above the surface. It was charted as dangerous wreck and the mast was removed in October 1906. In dive guides the wreck is usually called "1906 wreck" after its year of discovery. As adverse weather conditions on site prevented diving, Wessex Archaeology carried out sidescan and multibeam sonar surveys in 2002 and 2003.

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The approximate vessel dimensions were taken off the sidescan and multibeam data. With this information and the wreck position, documentary sources were consulted to identify the wreck.
In the Shipwreck Index of the British Isles (Larn 1997), the Swedish steamer Talis was listed, which sank on the 22nd July 1906 at an approximate position of 50º 42’ N and 00º 26’ E near the Royal Sovereign Lightship in a collision with the SS Roman from Liverpool.
The Talis was carrying coal from Llanelly to Gävle in Sweden. There is no mention of casualties in the incident. The location of the wreck site as well as the dimensions measured on the multibeam and sidescan data correspond with the specification of the Talis. The iron propeller, indicating single screw propulsion also supports this interpretation. The fact that the masts of the wreck were still visible in August 1906 indicates a recent sinking, not more than a few weeks before the sighting. The date of sinking of the Talis fits this hyothesis. Although very little geophysical and archaeological information exists for this wreck site, the wreck can, with a fair degree of certainty, be identified as the Swedish steamship Talis.
With the name of the ship, the Lloyds Register of British and Foreign Shipping for the year 1906 was consulted to find out more details about the Talis.