Built by Swann, Hunter and Wigham Richardson of Newcastle in 1908 this 2181 Ton steel steamship was sailing from South Shields to Dunkerque with a cargo of 3,300 tons of coal. Her master Captain Shepherd observed the big liner SS Maloja in difficulty ahead 2 miles off Dover having struck a mine laid by the German submarine UC-6, and proceeded to assist her. The Empress then struck a mine herself and the crew had to abandon ship into her lifeboats that were latter picked up by one of the Dover Patrol Destroyers.
Diving: The wreck lies in a max depth of 30m and is quite inshore so prone to some poor viz. She stands up to 7m proud and is very flattened at one end, this end is quite hard to get orientated on as it’s hard to get a feel for the shape of the wreck. The other end is quite proud, up to 7m and far more shipshaped. There is the wreck of an unidentified aircraft off the ships stern.