The search for Colossus: A story of wreck and discovery


On a stormy day in December 1798 HMS Colossus limped into St Mary's Roads in charge of a considerable convoy of ships. The convoy, which had encountered bad weather crossing Biscay, dropped anchor to ride out the storm. Colossus had a crew of nearly 600 on board as well as a remarkable cargo which included the body of a dead admiral, eight crates of Greek antiquities and wounded sailors, some of whom were from Nelson's victory at the battle of the Nile. What Colossus did not have on board was one of her spare bower anchors, which had been given to Nelson's ship Vanguard in Naples. This would prove to be disastrous. . . . .

What we in CISMAS wanted to do was to record the debris field of the wreck and learn more about the final hours of the ship. This is the story of Colossus and how she came to her final resting place on the seabed in Scilly. Most particularly, we will tell how her wreckage came to be spread over such a large area; how we mapped it, and thus came to better understand the wreck of Colossus.

42 Pages all in full colour

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