When WWI broke out, the British Admiralty was faced with the problem of not having an adequate number of vessels considered suitable for anti-submarine operations. Under the Emergency War Programme, they embarked on the rapid construction of smaller anti-submarine vessels. The Arabis-class sloops were the third class of mine-sweeping sloops to be built for the Royal Navy as a part of the larger ‘Flower class’. HMS Nasturtium was one of 36 Arabis-class sloops intended for mine-sweeping duties in European waters. She was laid down for the Royal Navy by A. McMillan & Sons, Ltd., Dumbarton, Scotland, on 1 July 1915 and launched on 21 December 1915.

HMS Nasturtium was based in Malta for its short service period. In March 1916, when U35 torpedoed the Minneapolis, the Nasturtium was among the ships which went to her assistance. Some days later, the Nasturtium was sent out to escort HMS Implacable. During April 1916, the Nasturtium left Malta on patrol but was recalled portentously to search for a German submarine and mines in the vicinity.

On the evening of 27 April 1916, HMS Nasturtium struck a mine off the coast of St Elmo. The mine exploded 7-ft below the waterline on the mine-sweepers starboard side. HMS Sheldrake moved in to tow the Nasturtium, unsuccessfully due to her heavy list. HMS Wallflower and HMY Aegusa joined the rescue efforts, where the Aegusa also struck a mine and foundered. In the early morning of 28 April 1916, the last crew members and captain of the HMS Nasturtium evacuated the vessel, whose list had visibly increased. HMS Nasturtium rolled onto her port side and sunk at around 2.45 am.

HMS Nasturtium

Delicate and Protected Marine Flora, Dive Site

Open to Divers through Registered Dive Centres and Clubs

Maximum Depth: 67 metres


Wreck Video

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