# wreck

SS Clio (II)

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 iron steamship, built in 1873 by J. Key & Son, in Kinghorn, Clio (II) was used as a cargo ship until requisitioned by the Admiralty in 1914. Clio II was scuttled on the 27th February 1915. The ADM report (ADM 1-8428-216) indicates that the anchors were let in preparation for the sinking, but the firing charge failed and SS Clio (II) dragged anchor and drifted eastward settling in the channel where it was of no use as a blockship.


The wreck labelled Clio (II) is only noted on the ADM drawing of the blockships in the positions they were sunk. It was never added to the chart and subsequently disappears from the record.


Previously unrecorded, she is often confused with that of SS Clio (I) which was scuttled as a blockship in Water Sound in April 1914. 


The site must be accessed by boat but has several interesting features, particularly towards the bow which is better preserved.


Diver Surveys

Clio (II) lies on sand and rock bottom in about 7m of water. The stern section is well broken up and scattered across the rocky skerry, but the propeller shaft is visible and the rudder and a large winch can be seen.


Following the propeller shaft forward, there is a hatch and an air vent on the seabed. These are close to a two cylinder compound engine which is lying on its port side. The engine is associated with several copper pipes, a segment of lead pipe and a fairlead. There is a hold winch, an anchor winch and a lead steam pipe forward of the engine to the port side (east of the vessel).


The bow of the ship stands listing to port approximately 3m proud of the seabed. A reinforced hawse pipe on the starboard side of the bow and has some chain protruding. This could support the historical sources which suggest that the anchors were let out when Clio (II) sank. A small portion of wooden deck, an air vent and more anchor chain can be seen on the deck side of the hawse pipe.


To the east of the wreck there is a single Scotch boiler on its end.


Side Scan Data

The side scan image indicates that the wreck measures 60m long by 10m beam and is oriented northwest to southeast with the bow to the southeast.  The boiler is clearly visible as a single large circular contact to the east of the main wreck.


Clio (II) Side Scan


Back to Scapa Flow 2013 Marine Archaeology Survey Project


  • Nationality: British
  • Built: 1873
  • Type: Steamship
  • Tonnage: 793 tons
  • Purpose: Cargo Ship
  • Length: 70.2m
  • Beam: 8,7m
  • Date Sunk: 27th February 1915