Diving the wrecks along the south east coast
We have a wide selection of Wreck Dive Sites; the hazard of the Owers reefs to the South of Selsey and the impact of two World World Wars have provided us with a rich playground.
Dive Sussex is the standard reference book on Wrecks in this area; good on background and descriptive details, the positions given cannot always be relied upon; it should be remembered that this book is now 30 years old and the condition of most Wrecks has changed!
References to Dive Sussex refer to the Wreck Number (and not the Page)
We have provided links to supporting background information, Wreck tour descriptions and particularly good Videos / Photos wherever possible.
Some basic information is provided for each Wreck as follows:
Wreck Site name, approximate journey time to the site from Selsey based on an average boat speed of 15 knots, approximate depth indication
Bracklesham Bay Landing Craft, 20 minutes, 10m
Upside down Landing Craft; bow largely intact but rest of structure deteriorated. LCT 548 Further details http://www.navsource.org/archives/10/18/180548
Brigitta (Teapot), 20 minutes, 20m
A steel, screwed steamer schooner which sunk after striking a mine in December 1917 whilst on passage from Barry to Dieppe with a cargo of coal. The wreck is just over 5 miles offshore and is well broken amidships with the stern upside down and the two boilers remaining the highest point. This wreck is now the home to a number of congers, plus blennies, gobies, wrasse, lobsters, crabs and schooling fish. Depth 18m. The ship has not been formally identified - it is widely known as the T'Pot following the discovery of such an object by Chichester BSAC - it is thought to be the Brigitta which was originally known as the SS Tennyson.
Reference : Dive Sussex - not included
Far Mulberry, 10 minutes, 10m
One of the many remains of the Mulberry Harbours which were constructed in this area; you might consider this to be a Wreck site. After more than 60 years under the water this is now a wonderful reef approximately 60ms longs by 17ms wide. The North end is the best preserved and is covered in white and orange dead men's fingers, various anemones and two patches of jewel anemones. As you tour round the reef you can expect to see schools of pouting, pollack, bass, wrasse, poor cod and bid. There is normally a large school of fish at the bottom of the shot waiting to greet you. You can also find conger eels, tompot blennies, gobies, crabs and lobsters in addition to seasonal visitors like the cuttlefish and lumpsuckers. Only 2.5 miles from East Beach with an average depth 10m. As the Mulberry is made of reinforced concrete which is decaying watch out for sharp spikes.
Once you have explored the Far Mulberry you can follow the Nature trail out over the sandy bottom (look out for rays, lobsters, cuttlefish, dogfish and various anemones) to a World War II Landing Craft, then onto a Cuckoo (WWII Air/Sea Rescue Float) before returning to the Mulberry. Both the Landing Craft and the Cuckoo are home to a number of tompot blennies, gobies, lobsters and crabs. Occassionally you can find baby cuttlefish.
'Cuckoo' Air Sea Rescue Float
This has ben the subject of an Adopt a Wreck project by Aldershot Dolphins.
Reference Dive Sussex
59 (Far Mulberry),
61 (Infantry Landing Craft),
60 (Concrete Petrol Barge - not found recently; possibly fully disintegrated)
Gascony, 20 minutes, 30m
Reference: Dive Sussex 26
HMS Pine, 20 minutes, 16m
An Admiralty Tree class armed trawler which sank after being struck by a torpedeo in January 1944. The wreck is now well broken up in less than 16m of water. Best visibility is usually after a period of calm conditions - the area is silty.
Reference: Dive Sussex 95
HMS Sapper, 30 minutes, 30m
HMS Sapper was an armoured trawler which sunk on 29th December 1917. The wreck is in three pieces and is well broken up. The highest point is the boiler which is home to numerous congers and tompot blennies. The wreck is home to a number of of schooling fish and is 8 miles from East Beach in 28ms of water. Note - this is always a dark wreck so a good torch is essential.
Reference : Dive Sussex 45
Shirala, 30 minutes, 25m
A 5,000 ton liner on route to India carrying a cargo of ivory, cases of wine, marmelade in stone jars, spares for lorries and Model T type cars plus munitions for the Indian Army which sank in July 1918 after being struck by a torpedeo. The wreck is only 8 miles from East Beach in 24ms of water. The wreck is well broken up however the constantly shifting seabed means that there is always something new to find each year. The wreck is home to a wide variety of marine life and schooling fish.
Reference: Dive Sussex 93
HMS Northcoates, 30 minutes, 25m
A royal navy trawler requisitioned for mine sweeping during WWII which sank in December 1944. The wreck sits upright at 26ms about 9 miles from East Beach. There is a 12 pounder gun on her foredeck. This wreck is often difficult to see due to the number of schooling fish. There are also a large number of congers tucked into holes in addition to lobsters and crabs
Reference: Dive Sussex 99
Divernet Wreck tour 77
UB1195, 45 minutes, 30m
German Mark VIIC submarine sunk by HSM Watchman using Hedgehogs on 7th April 1945. Lies Ne - SW at 30m with a significant hole in the pressure hull just forward of the conning tower.
Dive Wight and Hampshire 192
Get FREE access to Try Scuba, Try Snorkelling and Try Freediving materials.
Click the link below and create a Free Profile for yourself at DIVESSI.COM
You’ll get FREE access to SSI Freediving /Snorkeling, Try Scuba and Basic Diver. To continue with your training, visit Mulberry Divers and sign up for the complete program. You can download the material directly to your smart device for unlimited access, even without an internet connection.