Divers Down Swanage
 
 

Dive Sites

Here are Details of some of the Dive Sites we visit.  Some of our more advanced groups would like longer run times on some of the deeper wrecks.  Whilst this is not a problem during the week it can become a problem at weekends.  If you would like longer run times on any of the wrecks then please contact us to arrage times, tides and costs.

Kyarra

The Kyarra is a 4383 ton, twin-screw passenger and cargo liner, 415ft long with a beam of 52ft, launched in 1903.  She lies 1½ miles from Swanage Pier, at a depth of 30m, rising to 18m in some places.  She is also known as "the ship that was made of brass" owing to the large numbers of brass fittings used in her construction. 

The Kyarra plied the England-to-Australia run for the Australasian United Steam Navigation Co. She was requisitioned in World War One for use as a hospital ship, bringing home casualties from the battlefields in Flanders.  After the war, she returned to her previous trading route and was bound for Sydney from Southampton when she was torpedoed by a German submarine on 5 May, 1918.  She was hit amidships, killing six crew and sank very quickly, most of the crew were able to escape using the lifeboats.

The Kyarra Wreck Tour

Fleur de Lys

The Fleur De Lys is a 64' fishing trawler that sunk around 4 years ago while being towed to Poole.  She is now fairly broken up but at 13m makes a good easy shallow dive, with plenty of fish life to make it interesting.

Carantan

The French submarine chaser, Carantan, was seized by the British and handed over to the Free French after the fall of France in 1940.  She measures 120ft long with a narrow beam of only 20ft, weighing in at 400 tons.  Whilst operating as an escort and support vessel to the British submarine, HMS Rorqual, she capsized and sank on 21 December 1943.  Only 6 of her 23 crew were saved. 

Firth Fisher

Also known as Castle Reagh, this 168ft cargo steamer was transporting coal along the South Coast when she was reported lost on 25 February 1925.  She lies at a depth of 37m south east of the Kyarra, she is fairly intact and her bows stand 6m off the bottom whilst her stern is more broken up.

Betsy Anna

Built in 1892, the Betsy Anna (formerly known as the Ashington) foundered in Poole Bay whilst being towed to Cowes for repairs after tearing her plates in Devon.  She took on a lot of water, broke her bow and sank.  She lies in a depth of 24m with the bow collapsed backwards, standing 4m high, pointing upwards.  Whilst her boilers are easy to see, in positing and upright, her propeller is missing.

Aeolian Sky

The Aeolian Sky is a large wreck weighing 16,000 tons and lies 5 miles off of St Aldhelms Head.  She sunk on 4th November 1979 with her hold crammed with cargo and the decks piled high.  The decks have mostly been cleared but the hull is still full of cargo.  She lies at a depth of 30m to the seabed.

The Aeolian Sky Wreck Tour

Venezuela

This Argentinean owned ship was sailing from Falmouth to Rouen as part of a convoy which was attacked on March 14th 1918 by the German submarine, UB-59.  Two torpedos were fired, one of which hit and quickly sank the Venezeula.  She is 730 gross tons and measures 190ft in length.  She sits perfectly upright, but has sunk well into the sandy gravel sea bed at a depth of about 27m, with the wreck rising up 4m.

Borgny

The Borgny was sunk on 22 February 1918 by a German submarine.  She was a Norwegian steam driven merchantman of 1,149 gross tons.  She was built in 1909 and measured 228ft long with a 36ft beam.  She lies twisted and broken in sandy gravel at a depth of 27m, rising up by up to 5m.  Her stern is completely upside down with the rudder and propeller easy to recognise and completely clear of the sea bed.

Clan Macvey (Clan)

The Clan Macvey was an armed British merchant steamship, measuring 400 ft long with a 53ft beam.  Sunk by a German submarine in August 1918, she lies virtually upright, sunk into the soft sand almost up to her deck, at a depth of 18m and rising up by 4m from the sea bed.

Aparima

The Aparima was a luxury cargo and passenger liner and now lies on the seabed at a depth of 42m  with the bow at 31m below the surface.  The ship is broken with the centre section upright and the forward section listing to starboard.  She measured 430ft x 54ft, with a height of nearly 40ft and a gross weight of 5,704 tons. She was torpedoed by a German submarine while sailing from London to Barry on 19th November 1917.

Avanti

The Avanti was a former Danish steamship measuring 272ft long with a beam of 40ft. She was carrying 3,500 tons of iron ore when she was torpedoed by the German submarine UB-55 and is said to have sunk in 2 minutes.  She lies on the seabed at a depth of 42m and the wreck stands up 8m.

Warwick Deeping

Warwick Deeping was a steam trawler built in December 1934 by Cochrane and Sons Ltd in Selby, Yorkshire. It measured 155ft 8in by 26ft 1in by 14ft 1in and had a gross tonnage of 445. It was powered by a triple expansion three cylinder engine and one single engine boiler, providing 111 nominal hp. Originally owned by the Newington Steam Trawling Company Ltd, Warwick Deeping was purchased by the Admiralty in August 1939. It was refitted as an anti-submarine vessel and armed with a 4-inch forecastle gun and a twin barrelled 0.5-inch machine gun.  She sunk on 12th October 1942 by a convoy of German Torpedo Boats and lies in 37m of water.

War Knight

The 7951-ton War Knight was the victim of a navigational mistake in a convoy of 16 ships plus escorts.
Just after midnight on 24 March, 1918, the commanding ship of the convoy escort, HMS Syringa, ordered a change of course in response to what may have been an explosion to the south.
Half the ships in the convoy missed the order and it broke into two groups. In trying to regroup the War Knight sliced into the starboard side of the tanker OB Jennings beneath the bridge.
Naptha oil leaking from the tanker set surrounding water and the War Knight’s deck ablaze, killing the commander and many crew. War Knight was taken under tow only to strike two mines laid by UC17, finally being sunk by gunfire in Watcombe Bay on 25 March, 1918.
At a seabed depth of 12m, the War Knight is accessible to all divers. Despite this shallow depth and exposed location, the outline of the hull is easily discernible.
The key point of interest is the massive gearbox at the forward end of the propeller shaft. The War Knight was driven by steam turbines, the speed of which had to be reduced to turn the propeller. Largely made of non-ferrous metals, these have been salvaged.