George Milburn (Minesweeper)

The George Milburn was a steel steam trawler that was converted to use as an armed minesweeper in the first world war. She was built by R. Irvin & Son, with the dimension 37.31m length x 6.75m breadth and a draft of 3.76m and a weight of 235 tonnes. Power was provided by 1 3.75 triple expansion 78hp boiler.

On 12/7/1907, she was escorting the oiler SS Wylie from Queenstown to Milford when she blew up with the loss of 11 of her crew. Reports taken from the sole survivor, who was picked up by a fishing boat, indicate that a mine detonated amidships and he was blown clear into the sea.

The wreck lies in 23m of water east of hook head with what appears to be the bow pointed towards the lighthouse. Slack water appears to be identical to the Girl Arleen with a current running on the surface but slack on the bottom. The wreck is well broken up but was covered in fish life along with lobsters and conger eels. As you proceed east along the wreck you will note a large shadow to the left. Leave the wreck and swim towards it and you will see the ships boiler. Directly west of the boiler there is some other wreckage. This is a lovely spot for an afternoon dive as the relatively shallow depth means that a great deal of time can be spent without excessive decompression penalties.