15 Spectacular Dive Sites
A sample of the dive sites
around the Isles of Scilly
Some of the best scuba diving
in the UK is found around the Isles of Scilly mainly because
of their unique position 28 miles off Lands End in Cornwall.
Because the Islands are on
the edge of the Gulf Stream the sea water is normally crystal
clear and as such the Islands tend to attract a wealth of
varied and dynamic sea life.
the Isles of Scilly
and North Cornwall:
A Diver Guide.
David McBride (Author)
Since AD 1300 several
hundred ships have been recorded sinking among the picturesque
but voracious Island rocks. Some of the more important and historic
of these UK shipwrecks and best places to dive in the UK are:
The `Cita`, a 3,000
ton bulk container carrier ship that hit the Scillies at full
speed in the dead of night in March 1997 unleashing over 140 containers
of exciting cargo into the sea and along the shoreline.
The Cita has now broken
up into several gigantic pieces and lies in depths ranging from
12 to 40 metres. Her outer skin is covered with a veneer of marine
life and the many openings in the hull merge with the natural
granite of the surrounding seabed to create a fascinating diving
Only a few metres
away in a sheltered bay lies the wreck of the `Lady Charlotte`.
In a maximum depth of 27 metres her remains gently rise to her
boilers at 9 metres. A good tour of the site is made by locating
her stern gear and following the propeller shaft up to the spare
propeller which stands defiantly against a rock at a depth of
The Plympton, 1909,
and the Hathor, 1920, are possibly the most famous of the shipwrecks
in Isles of Scilly and lie, one on top of the other, off the back
of St. Agnes Island.
Trapped between two
ledges at a depth of 20 metres and dropping off either side, the
Hathor’s impressive bow is in approximately 45 metres. Her
array of boiler’s are all exposed and form a fascinating
drop-off to deeper water. The stern of the Plympton is trapped
below the Hathor at about 28 metres.
The `King Cadwallen`,
1906, lies off Hard Lewis rocks. She offers a very enjoyable dive
beginning at the boilers in 20 metres extending on down by a short
swim through and past her massive engine on down to her rudder
at 43 metres. The return is made back up an anemone strewn gulley
to the reef where there is plenty to look at while you do your
The `Brinkburn`, 1898,
a 3,200 ton steamer lies off the back of Bryher under Maiden Bower.
There we will drop you by her engine, standing up on the reef
like a gigantic bell tower, exposing three giant pistons and connecting
rods. These have stood against the force of the Atlantic winter
swells for over 100 years. From here you can glide down to the
wreckage below and look up in awe at this incredible shipwreck
from 25 metres.
The `Mando`, 1955,
a Panamanian liberty ship lies close to the sensational rocky
island called Men'a'vaur. Beginning in around 15 metres this dive
follows a gentle drop along the prop shaft to 32 metres revealing
marine life and many photographic opportunities on route.
The `Isabo`, wrecked
in thick fog in 1927, is an Italian steamer of 7000 tons lying
off the west side of Scilly rock which provides yet another gentle
but dynamic dive to around 46 metres. An awesome sight at 43 metres
is her giant spare propeller lying ahead of her main propeller
still attached and upright.
The `Delaware`, 1871,
lies just off Mincarlo, in the Northern Rocks. In a depth of 10
down to 25 metres her impressive engine block towers up from the
seabed. Amongst a mass of wreckage the occasional curved portholes
have been located.
The `Suzannah` and
the `Thornliebank` lie out on the Crim Rocks along side several
mysterious cannon sites and immense dark drop offs. This is a
great place to search for new undiscovered virgin shipwreck sites.