HMD Rose Valley

  • Nationality: British
  • Built: 1918
  • Type: Steam Drifter
  • Tonnage: 
  • Purpose: Royal Navy Inspection Drifter
  • Length: 
  • Beam: 
  • Date Lost: 16th December 1943

HMD Rose Valley

The following presents new data collected as part of a recent Historic Scotland funded project – the Scapa Flow 2013 Marine Archaeology Survey – which aimed to assess the extent and condition of some of the sites around Scapa Flow.


Vessel History

A British steam drifter, the HMD Rose Valley was a wooden ship with a steel framework around the bridge and engine room. Built in 1918 by Herd & Mckenzie in Findochty for a Jack of Inverness she was hired by the Admiralty in 1939 and was used to carry torpedoes. She sunk following a collision on the 16th December 1943. Though carrying torpedoes at the time of the collision, these were subsequently recovered (Wood 2008:80).


Although occasionally visited by recreational divers, the site was only added to the chart by Kevin Heath in 2001 and has not been surveyed before. She lies east to west with the bow to the east. The site is marked with a buoy and can be accessed by boat.


Diver Surveys

The wreck stands upright on a mud-sand bottom in 9m – 15m of water, in an area with slight tide. The stern, engine room and bridge are the most intact sections. The sections forward of the bridge and the bow are more broken up. Most of the wood has been destroyed, although some deck and hull fragments and ribs remain.


To the west of the site there is a steel propeller, propeller shaft and water-tank. There is evidence of concrete ballast at the bottom of the vessel on the starboard side, and there is a galley in the stern section, forward of the water tank which contains a cooker.


At deck level on the port side there is a doorway which provides access to the head which still contain a concreted ceramic toilet.


Moving forward, several hatches and a skylight provide access to the engine room which contains the remains of a triple expansion engine, a Scotch boiler, a crew access walkway, and miscellaneous pipework and valves


Midships, the structure of bridge deck remains intact, although the ceiling and sides are broken down. The bridge remains the highest point on the vessel. 


Forward of the bridge the wreck is very broken up though a capstan drum winch associated with wood and steel sheeting can be seen near the bow.


Side Scan Data

The side scan images show that the wreck measure 20m long by 6m beam. The length comprises 13m of intact remains (stern/midships) and a further 7m of well dispersed/broken debris (bow).


Rose Valley Side Scan   Rose Valley Side Scan


Back to Scapa Flow 2013 Marine Archaeology Survey Project