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Carlsen & the Flying Enterprise graphics by Leigh Bishop
Carlsen & Ken Dancy on the safety rail of the Flying Enterprise back in 1952
Captain Carlsen & the 'Flying Enterprise' by Leigh Bishop
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Diver on the very rail where Carlsen once stodd

On June 22nd 2001 a team of British divers discovered the famous lost shipwreck 'Flying Enterprise' as they swam the decks for the first time they in turn wrote the final chapter in the history books of a famous shipwreck story. The wreck now lies resting on her port side in a depth of 280ft on the seabed of the western approaches to the English Channel, her last 14 days afloat and the dramatic attempt to save the ship almost 50 years before her discovery, made her a house hold name across the world.
The navigation bar at the top of each
most extensive look into the story of
the ship, her discovery as well as a
government and the FBI were so
to this day. The navigation bar will
of the wreck as she lies today and
cuttings from 1952. The depth of the
more experienced diver although the
shipwreck dives in British waters if
Our discovery of the wreck brings to
laid almost forgotten over the last 50
see original picture this line drawing has been taken from page will guide you through perhaps the
the ship, her captain, the fight to save
look into her secret cargo which the US
intent to cover up at the time! and still
also guide you through pages of images
also expedition images and news
wreck means that it is a dive for the
wreck is fast becoming one of the classic
not the wreck dive in British waters.
light much interest in the ship which has
years, a recent National Geographic film
has brought the story to a new generation and the legendary Captain Kurt Carlsen and his famous ship continues to live on. I first heard of the 'Flying Enterprise' back in the early days of technical diving, in the days when not even hardened wreckers ventured a few miles offshore. I was with Melvin Richard Tom's a skipper from Looe, England, perhaps better known to many as 'Mally'! As we looked out to sea from the Cornish coastline Mally told me of this classic story. " If you're into deep wreckin go look for the Flying Enterprise," he said. Mally was only 7 years of age when the Flying Enterprise was lost although he still remembers it to this day.

I was even more intrigued to hear of such a classic shipwreck story from someone who actually remembered it as it happened. My curiosity and enthusiasm to discover the whereabouts of this famous ship paid dividends some years later as I became the proud man to be the first to swim along the decks and see her with my own eyes. On route back from an expedition to dive the famous Egypt gold Shipwreck, my friend Chris Hutchison and I were determined to discover yet another famous shipwreck. I hope you enjoy these pages as much as I have enjoyed being part of the history of this continuing, unfolding story. Leigh Bishop 2004
A beer bottle label from beer brewed in celebration of the famous captain carlsen
Above Right; Carlsen became so famous he even had beer named after him.
click here to enlarge
A cover of the Daily Graphic which along with many other world wide news papers ran with the story of the sinking ship for almost two weeks.
Perhaps the first stunning impact of the Flying Enterprise's plight was thrust home on the British public by a huge picture taking up more than half of the front page, in the Daily Express. It was soon slammed home to millions of readers world wide as they dealt with their breakfasts, or swung in trains and buses each morning;

"Here was a ship, a heroic ship and on her is a heroic man."
It was the beginning of a story, which never shrunk in size up to its last minutes.
The world loves a fighter but Carlsen's time was up on the 10th day of January 1952 Flying Enterprise foundered Carlsen and Mr Ken Dancy
walked horizontally along the submerging funnel stack and leapt into the sea. By one of those curious ironic twists that life holds for all of us Turmoil's captain and crew, Mr Dancy and Captain Carlsen were not to see the final plunge of the ship for which they had fought so long and so resolutely. Turmoil altered course for Falmouth with the destroyer standing by. Fifty minutes later came the signal "Flying Enterprise had gone down" the small charade of on-looking vessels sounding their whistles in admiration of a brave battle. (use the navigation bar to read more)
Bridge Telegraph
Telegraph inside the bridge of the wreck at 230ft depth ©Leigh Bishop
Carley Life Float Lie Jacket worn by Captain Carlsen life jacket tag
Above Left; A carly lifefloat from the famous Flying Enterprise
Above middle; Captain Carlsen's wind breaker & life jacket.
Above right; Close up of the tag on the life jacket

Pictures courtesy of Innes McCartney taken in the Wink Inn English Pub.


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