Scilly, Diving the Wrecks

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2016/ 17

Sarah or Dave



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.

Dive the Isles of Scilly
and North Cornwall:
A Diver Guide.

Dive the Isles of Scilly book image

Richard Larn (Author),
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 experience.

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 12 metres.

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 deco stop.


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.







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