What lies beneath…

WWII-era Sherman Tanks lie strewn across the sea floor off the coast of Donegal in this incredible video uploaded by a UK dive crew.

What lies beneath…

The SS Empire Heritage was a 15,000-ton steam tanker torpedoed in 1944 by a U-boat some 15 miles off the coast of Donegal.

The boat was en route from New York to Liverpool when it was targeted by U-482, with some 113 people on board losing their lives as she went down. It was one of over 4,000 ships that met a watery end in the Atlantic during WWII as military and logistics convoys were harried by packs of marauding U-boats - what's now known as the Battle of the Atlantic.

Today, lying in 70 metres of water, the wreck of the Empire Heritage is regarded as one of Europe's foremost dive sites - not least for the fact that its cargo of US Sherman tanks lie scattered across the sea bed in a ghostly diorama of an age when the world was at war.

The below footage was shot by Rich Stevenson of UK dive company Diving and Marine Solutions, for a BBC Two programme, and it captures the eerie atmosphere of the wreck perfectly.

WATCH:

"Shot with a Canon 5D2 and 14mm lens in 2010 using ambient light, one of the most memorable sights to be seen by wreck divers," according to the video's maker, who ranks it as the best diving he's ever done.

Of course, the waters off Malin Head are known worldwide as a mecca for wreck divers due to the channel's strategic importance. Other wrecks in the neighbourhood include HMS Audacious, a King George V-class battleship sunk by a German naval mine in 1914.

Here's where the Empire Heritage is located:

(Location of the Empire Heritage wreck - 55 32.60 N, 07 43.00 W. Image: Google Maps)

And if you liked that…

A second, longer video filmed in September of last year by a unit from the Marine Robotics Research Centre at the University of Limerick shows further details of the Empire Heritage wreck as well as the remains of the passenger liner S S Empress of Britain, sunk in 1940 and now lying at a depth of 160 metres, 40 miles northwest of Bloody Foreland.

Fascinating stuff.

(H/T: /r/ireland)

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