The steel steam tanker Daghestan was launched from the Pallion yard of Short Brothers Ltd (Yard No 413) on 30th September 1921. She measured 405.0′ x 52,0′ x 31.5′ and her tonnage was 5742 gross tons, 3532 net tons. She was powered by a triple expansion steam engine by Dickinson and Sons Ltd, Sunderland delivering 573 net horse power.
She was ordered by Common Brothers Ltd (Hindustan SS Co Ltd) of Newcastle and served effectively for this company until the outbreak of World War Two when her regular voyages bringing crude oil from all over the world to Britain became critical to the allied war effort.
However, she was not destined to survive for long into the conflict. In her first contact with a German U-boat she was to have a lucky escape. On 20th February 1940 U-19 fired a torpedo at her off the east coast of Shetland but the torpedo exploded close to Daghestan but did not hit her, However, only a month later, on 25th March, after arriving in Scapa Flow from the Americas with a full cargo of 7600 tons of crude oil she was en route from there to Sullom Voe, Shetland under the command of Captain John Rutherford with twenty five crew aboard to offload at the refinery. Due to the short nature of this voyage she was steaming unescorted when she was attacked by U-57. Under the command of Kapitanlieutnant Klaus Korth, U-57 had departed from Wilhelmshaven on 15th March and reached her assigned patrol area off the east coast of Orkney on 19th March. The following day Korth sighted Daghestan through his periscope and fired a single G7e torpedo. The torpedo hit Daghestan midships and started an intense fire as the cargo ignited.
The master, two crewmen and one gunner were killed in the initial explosion while the remainder of the crew managed to launch the ship’s boats to be picked up safely by the naval trawlers Northern Wave and Brontes and were taken to Lyness. Daghestan sank later in a position reported at the time to be 9 miles 212° from Copinsay. She was quickly replaced in the Common Brothers fleet by a second Daghestan launched from William Doxford and Sons in 1941.
The wreck of the Daghestan lies in position 58° 49.751’N, 002° 45.976’W oriented 150/330 degrees. She lies in 57 metres with a least depth clearance of 47 metres. She is a huge wreck (survey data reports her to be 134 metres long) sitting upright and fairly well in tact.