Wreck Diving

Shipwrecks are dotted all around the UK’s coastline and offer an exciting marine environment for scuba divers of all levels. Any ship sunk in fertile waters automatically becomes a marine habitat where shellfish and corals cluster on every surface and wary fish species crowd together in sheltered spaces.

As shipwrecks often go down and lodge themselves standing vertically from the sea bed, a single wreck can offer dives ranging from beginner to advanced difficulty. Exploring the UK’s underwater heritage is a passion for many scuba divers and wreck diving gives archaeologists and amateurs alike a window into the past. Famous ships thought to contain millions of pounds in lost bullion are rumoured to be submerged around UK shores. In May 2007 a record haul of over £250 million in gold and silver coins was recovered from an 18th century shipwreck 40 miles off the coast of Cornwall.

Wreck diving carries with it some unique risks. Snagging on ropes or nets and the potential fragility of a the structure itself require particular caution. As such, specialised courses are available for prospective wreck divers such as the PADI Wreck Diver and BSAC Advanced Diver. The practice of actually swimming inside of wrecks (penetration diving) no longer comes under the title of scuba diving – it is categorised as part of the more advanced technical diving discipline.

Underwater Archaeology

Underwater Archaeology is a natural step forward for the truly devoted wreck enthusiast. This discipline requires special training and involves the study of historical sites both underneath and close to water. A special organisation entitled NAS – the Nautical Archaeology Society – provides training for scuba divers who want to work in this area.