Latitude 50° 19.600 N
Longitude 004° 14.716 W
Depth 18m
Accuracy 5m
Reference NMR 919773
Location Description Whitsand Bay
Seabed type Fine sand
Burial extent Partial
Site energy Mid (sand)
Exposure Submerged
Integrity Partial
Craft type Liberty ship
Date built 1944
Year of loss 1945
Manner of loss Torpedoed
Outcome Abandoned
Construction Steel
Propulsion Steam
Nationality USA
Hull length 128.6m
Hull beam 17.4m
Hull draft 8.5m
Hull displacement 14,245 t
Crew 69
Built Delta Shipbuilding Company
Owners US War Shipping Administration

Liberty 70 James Eagan Layne

The wreck of the Liberty ship the James Eagan Layne is one of the most well known and most dived shipwrecks in the United Kingdom. Lying upright in just 20m depth in Whitsand Bay near Plymouth, this wreck has been the first wreck dived by many novice divers.

The James Eagan Layne was built in 1944 at the Delta Shipbuilding Company in New Orleans, USA. While forming part of the convoy BTC-103 taking general cargo from Barry in South Wales to Ghent in Belgium she was torpedoed in the stern by the German U-Boat U-399. A pair of tugs took the sinking ship in tow and she was grounded in Whitsand Bay to the west of Plymouth.

Salvage started almost immediately removing the guns and the cargo in the forward holds. One of the distinctive cargo masts remained visible above the water until 1974 so the wreck was not forgotten.

In 2011, ProMare started the Liberty 70 Project with the aim of documenting the history of this famous ship, click here to read more about the James Eagan Layne ...


James Eagan Layne


Porthole (11A02)
Hose nozzle (11A03)
20mm Cartridge case (11A04)
Patent block (11A05)
5in Cartridge case (11A06)
Unknown (11A08)
20mm Cartridge case (11A09)


The Liberty 70 Project - History, site plans, photographs, stories