The Betsy Anna

Our adopted wreck


The Betsy Anna was an 880 tonne steel steamer that was run by a subsidiary of the Berghuis Coal trade from Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

She was used mainly for transporting coal from European countries, steaming all the way through the Mediterranean and Baltic waters as well as all along the Atlantic Coast.

The Betsy Anna met her fate in October 1926 when she stuck Prawle Point off the coast of Devon. From here she was refloated but sank whilst being transported under tow to Cowes, on the Isle of Wight.

The wreck has become a favourite for British divers over the years due to its fabulous diving and large numbers of marine creatures. In 2004 ULSAC adopted the wreck of the Betsy Anna and have carried out a number of surveying dives on it since then.

In November 2008 Harry Vos, grandson of Ysbrand Vos contacted ULSAC with a number of fantastic photos and information about the Betsy Anna. Below is a collection of stories and details from Harry Vos. ULSAC's thanks go to him for providing such wonderful insight into the club's adopted wreck.

Also, David Wendes of Wight Spirit has supplied some newspaper articles that he has tracked down from 1926 when the Betsy Anna sunk.

For a guide to the wreck and more information about the dive, visit the Divernet Wreck tour 109.


  • 1892 by W. Dobson & Co, Newcastle.


  • 1892 – 1905: "Ashington Coal Co." Newcastle
  • 1905 – 1926: "Maatschappij tot exploitatie van de Betsy Anna" (Company for the exploitation of the Betsy Anna) This was a daughter company of "Berghuis Coal trade", Amsterdam


  • Length overall: 206' 7" / width: 30' 1" / depth: 14'1"
  • Gross tonnage: 880 tons, Net. 531 tons
  • Carrying capacity: 1300 tons at summer mark
  • Bunker capacity: 120 tons
  • Space of cargo holds: 58400 cu. ft.'
  • Number of decks: 1
  • Identification sign: NGWR


  • Triple expansion engine by J.Dickinson, Sunderland
  • Cylinders diameter: HP: 17" / MP: 28" / LP: 46"
  • Stroke: 33"
  • Maximum speed: 9 nM/h

The company that operated the Betsy Anna also ran two other ships; the Willy and the Nicolaas. The Willy was built in 1902 by Wood, Skinner & Co., Newcastle whilst the Nicolaas was built the following year, 1903.

Photos of both ships can be seen below.

The Nicolaas unfortunately ran into a mine following the First World War on 2nd January 1920 and sank 230 nautical miles north of Doggerbank. 7 crewmen were lost during the incident.