Being just 5.7 nautical miles from Dover, probably four from Folkstone and resting in just 28 metres of water, I am still amazed how close and how shallow the enemy operated to the British coastline during WWI. Being my first ever wreck dive from Dover, U-Boat UB-78 holds special memories.

She was the very first ever wreck site I dived from Dover in May 2014 (Dive Log 110). It was a dark, dank, pea soup green water with neigh on zero visibility. I recall vividly descending into the dark abyss with an eerie black shadow getting further and further away in the distance until ‘dink’, I hit my head on barrel of the 8.8cm deck gun!

My second dive to her came in June 2018 (Dive Log 351) with good visibility. On this dive she could be seen in spender. There was a strange part to the bow, laying in the sand and the torpedo hatches and bow cutter could easily be seen. The bow cutter protruding like a unicorn horn. Along the port side, the submarine seemed encrusted with mussels. I recall taking a GoPro still, looking down the barrel of the deck gun.

So this was my third dive. My buddies today were Pete and Baz. We were the only three on the boat and we had one simple job, descend the shot, attach the blue rope and send up the grapple in the lift bag. Each of us a simple job to do.

Pete was diver one, me diver two and Baz, diver three. As we descended, the lights went out around 15 metres. That said, the visibility at the bottom was clear. Like a night dive per se.

The shot landed at the stern and while we were working on securing the shot and sending up the grapple, Baz was just wasn’t feeling it and decided to ascend back to the surface. That left Pete and I. Once the lift bag also shot off to the surface, Peter and I started the dive. Quite eerie, but a calm and relaxed dive. We swam around the starboard side to the bow and as we turned to the port side at the bow, there was a current running. About face with the mussel encrusted boat and ascend a little and back to the stern and there she was again, the deck gun! A few more photos and back to the stern for the ascent.

Dive time was 33m10s with a maximum depth of 28.6m and average depth of 20.63m. Water temperature was 16degC.


Lost 19th April 1918 by mine and sunk with all hands while traveling through the Straits of Dover into the English Channel from occupied Flanders. The Royal Navy had a poor understanding of when specific Flanders-based U-Boats sailed and their assigned patrol areas, and thus did not realise that the submarine that they believed had sunk on a mine on 19th April 1918 was UB-78. Identity confirmed by local divers from markings on the U-Boat’s propellers.