[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 26 December, 2003, 09:31 GMT
Train engines found on seabed
Trench scene from the Somme in World War I
Trains were used to carry men and supplies
Experts remain puzzled after divers found two train engines on a sea wreck off the Cornwall coast.

It was originally believed they went missing after being commandeered for Government use in World War I trenches.

The suggestion was that the cargo ship carrying them had been torpedoed and sunk after leaving Avonmouth for northern France in 1916.

It has now been established that the sunken steam engines are of an entirely different type.

Underwater expert Colin Eastman's divers found them in 170 feet of water two years ago 20 miles off the coast.

We do not know what those engines are, where they came from or where they were going.
Colin Eastman

His team had originally been searching for the trains destined for the war trenches but he concedes that he cannot be sure where the find originated.

He said: "The remains on the seabed are of steam engines 35 feet long - the ones we were looking for were 16 feet long.

"The wheels found on the seabed are six and a half feet high - the ones from the tank engines were 3feet nine inches high."

He added: "We do not know what those engines are, where they came from or where they were going."

Little remains of the transport ship but the engines themselves are said to be in "fairly good condition".

Mr Eastman and his team are now turning their attention to another wreck further away in the Bristol Channel, which may have been carrying the steam engines they are looking for.

Investigations of that wreck - which lies in about the same depth of water - will have to wait until the summer.



News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific