MV Lycia

  • Nationality:British
  • Built: 1924
  • Type: Motor Vessel
  • Tonnage: 2338 tons
  • Purpose: Cargo
  • Length: 91m
  • Beam: 13.5m
  • Date Sunk: 19th Feburary 1941

MV Lycia

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 diesel motor ship, built in 1924 by Dunlop, Bremner & Co, Glasgow for Thos. & Jno. Brocklebank, Ltd., Liverpool MV Lycia was sold to Cape York Motorship Co., Ltd. Glasgow in 1925, before being purchased by Lyle Shipping Co., Ltd in 1932. She was requisitioned by the Admiralty in 1940 for use as a blockship and was run ashore on Lambs Holm before being scuttled on 19th February 1941.


The remains of the MV Lycia are consistent with those reported by the 1972 UO surveys, although recent storms have uncovered more remains, including a Scotch boiler and a pressure vessel.


Diver Surveys

The remains of the engine block from the MV Lycia now lie on a sand and rock bottom in 3m of water.


Numerous sections of copper pipe, copper flanges and pieces of welded steel plate were noted close to the engine block. These were intermingled with older fragments of iron and a Scotch boiler with steel valves, copper pipe and fittings and the base of a sight gauge.


The remains of the boiler and the iron fragments within the wreckage are incongruous, as MV Lycia would not have had a boiler as a diesel ship. This suggests the remains are from more than one vessel. It is likely that the iron remains are from the SS Teeswood. Constructed from iron and the nearest blockship to MV Lycia, as discussed above the boilers from the SS Teeswood appear to be missing.


Close to the boiler a large well-scoured steel pressure vessel was observed – likely exposed by the recent storms. The pressure vessel is rounded on both ends and has an inspection hatch in the central area with a brass fitting. The origins and purpose of this vessel are unclear. It is possible the remains of a compressed air tank used to start the diesel engine. The pressure vessel does not have any valves or openings to add coal – suggesting it is not a steamship boiler.


To the west of the pressure vessel there is a steel engine manifold which has fallen off the base of the associated engine. The engine block, which is partially exposed above the water, has quite extensive submerged remains containing several sections of pipe work, two cog wheels of different sizes, and three cylinders.


Side Scan Data

Although showing large reflection from the visible engine block, several features can be seen on the side scan image of the Lycia shown in the gallery. The engine block, boiler and pressure vessel can be seen intermingled with the blocks from the Barrier.


Lycia Side Scan


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