The "Resurgam"

The Resurgam, the world's second mechanically propelled submarine, was designed and patented by a Manchester clergyman called Reverend George William Garrett. The submarine was built in 1879 by Cochran & Co in Birkenhead, at the time she cost £1500.

The Resurgam was fabricated using iron plates fastened over iron stringers and frames with the central section clad with wood retained by iron straps. She was powered by a closed system steam engine patented by Eugene Lamm in 1872, this provided steam to turn the single screw for up to four hours. Resurgam was designed to be positively buoyant so diving was controlled by two hydroplanes amidships. When built the Resurgam was 45’ long and 10’ diameter, weighed 30 tons and had a crew of three.

After successfully completing trials in the East Float at Wallasey, the Resurgam was to make her way under her own steam from Birkenhead to Portsmouth for a demonstration to the Royal Navy. During the voyage, technical problems forced the crew to dock at Rhyl for repairs. Once the repairs were complete the crew set sail at night in a gale, towed by steam yacht. The yacht developed engine trouble so the crew of the Resurgam transferred to the towing vessel to deal with the mechanical problems. The conning tower hatch on the now unmanned submarine could not be closed from the outside so the Resurgam took on water. The towrope broke under the additional strain and on February 25th 1880 the Resurgam was lost somewhere off Rhyl.

The submarine was rediscovered late in 1995 when she was caught in the nets of a Colwyn Bay trawlerman, Dennis Hunt. A local diver, Keith Hurley, freed the snagged nets and realised that they had found the Resurgam. The Resurgam was designated protected wreck no 42 on 6th July 1996, the site covering an area 300m in radius

Download instruction