Carrying troops, vehicles, and ammunition, her cargo was stowed inside other cargo to maximise space; lorries were filled with motorbikes and in some cases, gelignite.
In some random act of bad luck, arbitrary shells fired from German batteries at Calais some 18 miles away, struck the Sambut. Lorries and petrol cans on deck caught fire, followed by a gelignite explosion in the hold. The troops tried to jettison some of the munitions but it was quickly realised that it was a futile effort. Within 15 minutes of the shells hitting the vessel, the order was given to abandon ship, not without loss of 136 of the 625 personnel on board. She was later scuttled and sunk by torpedo by the Royal Navy.
Laying at around 55 metres to the seabed off Dover, she looks like a ship, is intact and fully upright with her upper decks laying around 42 metres.
My reward? A lovely brass nozzle attachment from a fire hose on the decks, undoubtedly used that fateful day to fight the fires.
Visibility was around 6 metres, in a hazy Pantone 13-3520 light green colour and 18degC water temperature. Certainly worth another visit!