DIVERS have discovered the wreckage of a small German boat that is thought to have been part of the fleet that was scuttled in Scapa Flow after the end of the First World War.

The vessel was discovered on the seabed by a team from MV Valkyrie, an Orkney-based diving boat after unexpected object registered on sonar equipment.

It is believed to have been a ‘pinnace’ that provided supplies to larger ships and could have gone down with its mother ship from the German High Seas Fleet.


Diver Simon Brown was surprised to find the vessel which has been untouched for almost a century.

Valkyrie skipper Hazel Weaver said: “There’s lots of piles of steel boom netting dumped after the First World War and the Second World War in Scapa Flow and we assumed it was a pile of that.”

Mr Brown went down to have a look and spent 30 minutes in the waters taking images which clearly show the boat.

She told the BBC: “He took a lot of photos and came back up very, very excited.

Ms Weaver said that because the discovery was a first they spoke to Kevin Heath, a local diving expert who runs his firm in Stromness.

Mr Heath said it is likely to have been motor pinnace, or diesel pinnace from the fleet.

Ms Weaver added: “It’s a remarkable discovery, especially to find such a wreck even with all the brass works still in tact.”


More than 50 German ships went down onto the seabed of Scapa Flow on 19 June 1919.

Although the majority have since been removed, seven remain there.

A virtual 3D image of the wreckage can be viewed here: