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HMS Velox

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Uploaded on Jan 22, 2011

HMS Velox was a British Destroyer lost after hitting a mine off the Nab Tower on 25th October 1915 in the eastern Solent, 1.5 miles east of Bembridge. The Velox was originally named HMS Python, and was part of the Viper class of Naval vessels along with its sister ships HMS Viper and HMS Cobra. This class was notable for being the first Royal Naval Vessels to use steam turbine propulsion.

In 1898 the Admiralty ordered the first turbine powered naval vessel, the destroyer HMS Viper. The Viper was wrecked in the Channel Islands and has been heavily salvaged. The Cobra was the second of these 'sank class' ships, this vessel was lost on the delivery voyage. After the loss of the Viper and Cobra the Python was renamed Velox in 1901. These ships demonstrated that turbines could be used successfully and led to the installation of turbines in all Naval destroyers after 1903 including HMS Dreadnought.

HMS Velox was investigated in July 2010 with the aim of assessing and recording this important site in connection with the English Heritage funded Solent Marine Heritage Assets project. The diving activities on the site were undertaken by staff and volunteer divers from the Hants and Wight Trust for Marritime Archaeology, together with French and Belgian maritime archaeologist divers. The use of side scan sonar as well as diver surveys allowed the extent of the wreckage to be confirmed. The diving fieldwork included a photographic and video record of the site, and taped measurements of the archaeological features enabled the production of a site plan. Future diving work on the site is planned for 2011.

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