Wreck Diving - The SS FOLIA, ocean liner lies in 38m of water approx. 4miles south of the Rams Head Ardmore
The Folia was originally named Principe di Piemonte when she was built for the Lloyd Sabaudo Line of Italy in 1907. The ship was built by Sir James Laing & Sons, Sunderland, and launched on 26 February 1907.
In 1913 the ship was sold to Canadian Northern Railways, renamed Principello and chartered to Uranium Steamship Co. for their Rotterdam to New York service. In 1916 the Principello was acquired by Cunard to help replace the many vessels they had already lost in the war. Cunard renamed the ship Folia and it was used on the transatlantic route.
On Sunday 11 March 1917 the Folia was sailing 4 miles off Ram Head near to Youghal Island, Ireland when she was torpedoed without warning by U 53.
Today the wreck is well flattened apart form its boilers which which rise to 33m. When we say flattened, we are implying that her original hulk superstructure is no longer readily discernible. This being said one knows when they have reached the bow and stern.
It is an excellent wreck dive, possibly the best in Ireland, when one factors in the relatively light currents in conjunction with average bottom visibility of 9m plus. what more can a wreck diver ask for. As such the wreck is a very popular dive location. 5 miles south of helvic head lies the wreck of SS Bandon, Cork Steam Packet Company ship, also torpedoed in 1917. She lies in a depth of 34m, but is susceptible to heavier bottom current and poorer visibility.
Nevertheless it is an exhilarating local wreck dive not to be missed.