Penetration Dive on the Shipwreck of Minesweeper YMS #3

Shaun Gardner and Ben Griner dove on the shipwreck of a YMS class minesweeper sitting upright in 205 feet fresh water in Lake Washington. Our team calls this wreck YMS #3 as it has not been identified at this time. We have been diving this wreck for several months now looking for identifying markings without much luck.

Shaun dropping below deck through floor hatch

ShaunDroppingBelowDeck.gifToday Shaun and I entered the main deck through a side door exploring both forward and aft. Penetration lines were run by Shaun and secured tightly, low and to the side of our travel. The team entered with two decompression bottles each and I advanced a video and lighting system. The HD cameras have proven very helpful as they are able to see through the silt and percolation far better than the divers. Upon finishing the survey of the main deck visibility remained between 1-2 feet which is expected for wrecks in this lake. Shaun squeezed through a floor hatch to begin exploration of a lower deck. While Shaun was tying in the penetration line a section of steel support collapsed and briefly pinning me over the hatch area and Shaun’s only exit.


Visibility after 8 min of penetration

Not knowing how large the section of ceiling was falling I quickly scrambled and got one leg free and used it to drag my other leg free. Obviously visibility dropped to zero and we ended the dive exiting using touch contact and following the penetration line. The debris fell on part of the penetration line but we easily picked it up again.



Visibility after partial collapse 

Despite a less than desirable penetration we had a comfortable and uneventful decompression.  Tim Evans and Marc Greenway acted as captain and surface support for this dive.