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Dive Sites Wales, Wreck Diving, Shipwrecks, welsh coast, Cardigan Bay, Pembrokeshire, West Wales

Dive Sites Wales, Wreck Diving, Shipwrecks, welsh coast, Cardigan Bay, Pembrokeshire, West Wales

Dive Sites West Wales, Wreck Diving, Shipwrecks Pembrokeshire, HMS Whirlwind, The Sutton, The Herefordshire, Gramsbergen, Baron Carnegie, SS West Quechee, Empire Panther, Calburga, Vendome, Dan Beard, Musgrave, Nimrod, Count D'Aspremont, Whitehaven, Lucy, The Smalls

Dive Boat Charters

This page contains some of the incredible places we take divers to - we are frequently updating adding new information and sites.

Be aware that currents can be very strong and local knowledge is essential to dive many of the sites listed here. The prevailing winds are south westerly and we tend to dive the North Pembrokeshire coast on weekends. If we get strong northerlies or we plan to dive the southerly limits of our range on week long bookings, we may take Wandrin' Star south of the St.Davids Cape and load from Porth Clais.

Our range from the north is Aberporth, Cardigan Bay, Newport Bay, Dinas, Fishguard Bay, Strumble Head south down to St Davids Head, Ramsey, Bishops and Clerks, Grassholm, St. Brides Bay, Skomer, Skokholm and out to The Smalls in the south west. We load Wandrin' Star at Fishguard and are able to moor up at Porth Gain or Porth Lyski to minimise steaming times on week long bookings.

We will always do our best to get you the diving you would like but there are often variables such as the weather, tides and swell that will have an effect on the conditions and where we decide it is appropriate to dive.

NOW TAKING BOOKINGS FOR 2015 - NO PRICE INCREASES - CLICK HERE FOR AVAILABILITY

NEW FOR 2015: HEMATITE AND DOUGLAS - Click here for info


HMS Whirlwind, Aberporth

Second World War Royal Navy Hunter Class Destroyer, she saw action in the air strikes on Medan, Palembang and Sumatra, in the bombardment of the Sakashima group, in the reoccupation of Hong Kong and in the landings on Okinawa.

Wreck Tour 139 August 2010 issue of Diver Magazine - CLICK HERE TO READ

For more info on this and other wrecks in the same geographic vicinity click here to read John Liddiard's article "The Wrecks of Cardigan Bay"

HMS Whirlwind DEPTH CHARGE GEAR POM POM GUN

Built in 1943 by Hawthorne Leslie as a "W" Class Destroyer. HMS Whirlwind (R87) served in the Home Fleet until 1945 when she was transferred to the Pacific. In 1953 she was converted to a type 15 Frigate (fast anti-submarine) and given the new pennant number F187

General Characteristics

Displacement: 1,710 tons (standard), 2,530 tons (full) Length: 362 ft 9 in o/a (110.5 m) Beam: 35 ft 8 in (10.9 m) Draught: 10 ft mean(3.05 m)

Propulsion: 3 x Admiralty 3-drum boilers, steam turbines, 2 shafts, 40,000 shp

Armament:

4 x single 4.7 in L/45 QF Mark IX, mounting CP Mk.XXII
1 x quad 2pdr “pom-pom” mount Mk.VII, or;
1 x twin 40mm Bofors mount "Hazemeyer" Mk.IV
4 x lightAA guns;

  • twin 20 mm Oerlikon guns
  • single Bofors 40 mm mount Mk.III or "Boffin" Mk.V
  • single 2 pdr "pom pom" mount Mk.XVI

2 x quad tubes for 21in. torpedoes Mk.IX


POM POM GUN

Date of Sinking 01/11/1974 whilst being used as target after severe weather and probably due to damage previously inflicted by missiles.

Site at 36 mts, on the Aberporth missile target range. She lies on her port side, fairly intact and identifiable about 100 mts long - covered in Dead Mans Fingers, lots of life, a fantastic wreck dive. There are places to penetrate; the forward section and battle bridge.

Tides have to be correct and we can only dive this site on certain dates please discuss with us prior to booking

Divers interested in visiting this site must have proof of recent deep diving experience and qualifications.



The Sutton - Mynt

The tragic Liverpool steamer "Sutton" which sank on her maiden voyage after leaving
Aberystwyth bound for Antwerp with a cargo of mineral concentrates.
Sunk 29th November 1925 with the loss of fourteen lives.

She lies at a depth of 30 mts or so, broken but recognisable, the seabed reflects light and visibility can be very good. The wreckage is populated with dead mans fingers, anenomies, lobsters, congers and shoals of fish - a very nice no stop dive.

We took John Liddiard to this site if you would like to view some of the stunning photos he took please click here.

For more info on The Sutton click here to read John Liddiard's article
"The Wrecks of Cardigan Bay"



Mark on Sutton



The Herefordshire - Cardigan Island

She was built in 1905 by Harland & Wolff at Belfast with a tonnage of 7182grt, a length of 452ft 4in, a beam of 54ft 4in and a service speed of 15 knots. Sister of the Worcestershire she was launched on 31st August 1905 and completed on 29th November.

On the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 Bibby Line's seven well-equipped steamers were all requisitioned by the Government. She remained on the Burma run until 25th July 1916 when she was requisitioned as a hospital ship for 380 patients serving Salonika, Mesopotamia and East Africa.

On 1st January 1918 she was decommissioned and on 4th February was narrowly missed by two torpedoes during her first Mediterranean convoy. When the torpedo tracks were spotted her Master, Capt.G. E. Millson, ordered the helm hard over and one engine to full astern which slewed the ship around. One torpedo passed under the counter stern missing by a foot or so and one of the torpedoes went on to hit P&O's Sardinia.

In 1920 she was refitted by her builder and converted to oil burning. She was rebuilt for cargo services only in 1929 and equipped with, in addition to modifications for transiting the Manchester Ship Canal, a heavy lift derrick on the foremast.

In April 1933 she was laid up at Dartmouth and on 9th March 1934 left in tow bound for Clyde shipbreakers. On 15th March she grounded on Cardigan Island and was a total loss.

The wreck is well broken up but large parts, boilers, turbines and girders scattered lying at about 15 mts, plenty of life and nice topography.

For more info on The Herefordshire click here to read John Liddiard's article
"The Wrecks of Cardigan Bay"

HEREFORDSHIRE

Bibby Line


 

Needle Rocks - Dinas

Depths are down to 15 metes The bottom is covered with large boulders, gullies and some scallops.

Dinas Head

Drift dive lots to see on the way; slate bottom, cat shark, sponges, scallops, lobsters and crabs.

SPIDER CRAB



Gramsbergen - Fishguard

Coasting cargo vessel 498 tons built 1954 - Sank 1954. Sheltering from heavy storms she broke her anchor and hit the rocks before the engines could be started.
Depth 11 metres, lots of interesting wreckage, wrasse, pollack and crabs.

INSHORE FISHGUARD FEATURE (Diver Magazine March 2013) - John Liddiard
WATCH THIS !
Cambridge University Underwater Exploration Group
Click here to see their video some shot on the wreck

GRAMSBERGEN


William Rhodes Moorhouse
- Fishguard

Milford registered trawler (ex-Naval MFV) left Milford Easter Saturday 1968 for Cardigan Bay fishing grounds. Trawl winch developed fault on Easter Monday - April 15th – and fishing gear could not be fully hauled up. That evening the fish-hold started to flood. Six man crew took to life-raft and were rescued by an oil tanker (Esso Purfleet) and then transferred to Fishguard Lifeboat. Lifeboat attempted towing vessel but she listed and tow-line had to be released - A smallish wreck at about 30 mts, lots of life, plenty to look at - a nice no stop dive. Who was William Rhodes Moorhouse ? To find out: click here

For more info on the The William Rhodes Moorhouse shipwreck click to read John Liddiard's article:
At Ease With Plan B's


WILLIAM RHODES MOORHOUSE



Cow and Calf Rocks & The Slate Wreck - Fishguard

Around 15 meters, there is a sheer wall all around the largest island, gullies, rock outcrops, wreckage, dogfish, crabs, wrasse, lobsters, octopus.

INSHORE FISHGUARD FEATURE (Diver Magazine March 2013) - John Liddiard

Pen Anglas Point - Fishguard

Canyons full of life, should be a canon from the last French invasion down there somewhere.

 

STARFISH


NEWLY DISCOVERED - THE MOYALLON !

In 2012 we participated in a multibeam survey off the Pembrokeshire coast with SEACAMS.

Together with Bangor University and the vessel Prince Madog we found some very interesting and previously undived marks.

Throughout last year we have been diving a wreck we now know to be the Moyallon and we have pinpointed a reliable slack water every 12 hours.

The Moyallon was a cargo ship that sank in 1924. She now lies upright in 40 mts, in very good condition complete with a huge prop and undisturbed artifacts.

We have decided to open this wreck up to groups diving with us who are of course qualified and experienced to dive to this depth.

 

The Moyallon


BARON CARNEGIE

Wreck Tour 112 May 2008 issue of Diver Magazine
Click Here to read the feature

Port of Registry: Ardrossan - Propulsion: triple exp 3cy 225nhp - Launched: Thursday, 30/04/1925 - Built: 1925 Ship Type: Cargo Vessel - Ship's Role: tramp steamer - Tonnage: 3178 grt - Length: 336 feet 3 - Breadth: 48 feet 5 - Draught: 22 feet 2 - Status: Torpedoed & Sunk - 11/06/1941

Torpedoed by aircraft 15 miles west of St Davids Head. Later sank in tow 25 crew lost

She lies broken but intact upright with guns and lobsters in 45m, not for the faint hearted !

If you would like to read the Captain's report on the night of the sinking please click here for:
Page 1 - Page 2

Divers interested in visiting this site must have proof of recent deep/ technical diving experience and qualifications.

For more info on the Baron Carnegie and our wreck dive sites please click to read John Liddiard's feature Legends in Their Own Lunchbox or The Pride of Pembrokeshire


 

Baron Carnegie



SS West Quechee
- AKA Empire Panther

1919 WEST QUECHEE, US Shipping Board, Portland, Ore.
1933 Lykes Bros, Ripley SS Co, New Orleans.
1940 EMPIRE PANTHER, MOWT managed by Stanhope SS Co.
Mined and sunk off Strumble Head

Another deep one at 51m - Twisted, mangled and smashed - We are still trying to locate the bow section...

Divers interested in visiting this site must have proof of recent deep/ technical diving experience and qualifications.


SS WEST QUECHEE AKA: EMPIRE PANTHER



Carregwasted Reef -Site of the last French invasion 1797 - reef systems, lots of life,, rocks, gullies, possible place for seal encounters...

Salus - A wooden sailing ship, sank in a force 9 gale off Strumble Head. A rescue was attempted over the cliffs, but the ship broke up within minutes and the crew were lost. She lies at between 4-11 meters, there are a few wooden beams scattered and angle irons - a very pretty dive site with interesting topography and wildlife.


Octopus

 

Calburga - Strumble Head

She was the last of the square rigged sailing ships to be lost in this area - 1,406 tons, length 210 feet, beam 39. She was hit by a hurricane which blew out her sails and downed three of her masts. She finally hit the cliffs and sank in deep waters.

She lies at 43m, the wreckage covers a large area, there is a drop off to a stoney bottom, there you can find the pins and make your way to a crevice that brings you up to a huge anchor that looks like it has been stuck to the side of the wall ! - depths from 10 to 40 meters. Dogfish, wrasse, lobsters, crabs, octopus...

Strumble Head rated as number 7 out of Britain's 20 biggest wall dives !
CLICK TO READ

CALBURGA


Wreck Tour 82 The Vendome - CLICK HERE TO READ

The collier Vendome sank off Strumble Head, west Wales way back in 1888 and makes a good no-stop dive, says John Liddiard - if you can find it !

Depth 30 - 35 meters

Vendome lies broken at the foot of the reef at Tri Maen-trai, right up against the rocks. On an echo-sounder, it's hard to tell the two apart, so on a wreck this size the shot could land anywhere.


anchors


Dan Beard - Pwil Deri

Tonnage - 7176 tons gross
Built - 1943, California USA
Length -423 feet
Beam - 57 feet
Sinking - December 10th 1944 with the loss of 29 lives.

INSHORE FISHGUARD FEATURE (Diver Magazine March 2013) - John Liddiard

For more information on this dive site click here to read:
Sport Diver Magazine Feature -" Best of the West "
By Martin Bruce


From Larn's "Shipwreck Index" -

"At 13.55 on 10 Dec. 1944 a single torpedo fired by the U-2102 struck the port side of the Liberty ship level with number 9 hold, causing her to break in two immediately. The survivors abandoned ship in two lifeboats and one liferaft, a third lifeboat capsizing whilst being launched, a fourth swamped. The last to leave the vessel were the master and the armed guard commander, both men jumped overboard and were picked up by no. 2 lifeboat. Distress flares sighted by Strumble Head Coastguard saw the Fishguard lifeboat launched at 6 p.m. but on reaching the wreck found it surrounded by oil and abandoned. One of the lifeboat crew was taken ill and the boat turned back for Fishguard where the man was transferred to a police car, but on reaching home died. One of the ships lifeboats with 23 survivors reached the shore safely, whilst a liferaft with 13 men on board was picked up by Fishguard lifeboat, one of survivors who was seriously injured died before they reached the lifeboat station. The bow section drifted ashore 2.5 miles south of Strumble Head"

The Dan Beard was a US Liberty Ship that had seen action during the D Day landings. Her bow now lies about 14 mts, the wreckage is well broken up and scattered amongst boulders. There is a cave nearby in which a mast is lying and very often there are seals present.

We are still searching for the stern section which we believe lies much further away in deeper water.

Who was Dan Beard ? To find out: click here

 

LIBERTY SHIP

Bollards


Charles Holmes - Abermawr Bay

886 ton sailing vessel - sank in 1859 She hit a rock in a terrible storm and scattered her cargo - thousands of pieces of pottery. Allegedly a chest of gold was on board which has to this day not been recovered. The pottery pieces are still being picked up today. Very broken up and scattered. The bodies of the crew were washed ashore and are buried in the local church yard.


 

Bola Bleiddyn - Abercastle - Reef that rises up from 22 meters to 8 meters, lots of dogfish, pollack, dead mans' fingers and we spotted the daddy of all crayfish !!

Abercastle Blow Hole - An underwater cave, which extends into the cliffs 8m or so and ending at a small blow hole.

Leysian - Abercastle - Depth 15m - Lots of wreckage, that attracts a variety of fish, a safe, interesting and relatively easy wreck dive with plenty of features.

Abercastle Reef - Fantastic reef full of life depth down to 22 meters.
For more info on this and our other scenic dive sites please click here to read John Liddiard's review

Baron Ardrossan - Porth Gain - Steamship sunk 1898 - Weight 1451 tons, length 243 feet beam 34 feet. She ran into thick sea fog carrying a cargo of coal, but on a wrong heading. Depths 10m to 13m - Boiler intact, prop still there, lots of wreckage.

Traeth Rock - A rock rising from 25m to 6m. Out from Aberieddy beach.

The Tower Off Abereiddi Beach - A large pinnacle of rock.

The Sledges - A group of large rocks, off Aberieddy beach, still a danger to shipping today.

IOLO WITH DOGFISH

Lysian


SS Musgrave

Wreck Tour 123 April 2009 issue of Diver Magazine - Click Here to read the feature

Steamship sunk 1892. Depth 28m to 32m, fairly intact but broken in two parts, lying upside down, rudder, prop, boiler with conger eels, blennies and dab.


For more info on the Musgrave and our wreck dive sites please click to read John Liddiard's feature Legends in Their Own Lunchbox - The Pride of Pembrokeshire

MUSGRAVE

Glenisla

Laden with 1,885 tons of coal and bound for Italy, she hit the outer sledge off Abereiddy in February 1886 after her Captain mistook the South Bishop lighthouse for a light off the Irish coast. All the crew reached safety without injury.

The steamer had run over the rock with such a force that she ended up straddled across it.  The swell soon broke her back and the stern section ended up on the seabed where it remains to this day. 

The depth is from 14mts to 18mts, there are a number of interesting features, including the engines, prop shaft and machinery. As this site is a large offshore rock, divers get the best of both worlds, a wreck on a reef !

INSHORE FISHGUARD FEATURE (Diver Magazine March 2013) - John Liddiard



Monkey Rocks

Lots of gullies, scallops, depths at around 20m. Also a good drift dive.

Amazonese

St Davids Head : Cargo Steamship built 1879 in Southampton. Hull material: Iron. Size: 1791 tonnes - Length: 88 m - Beam: 10 m
Sunk: 15/4/1881 Cause: Hit Rocks in Fog. Lies in 16 m upright. Orientation: bow to E - Condition: extensive breakup - Seabed: gravel

This wreck is well broken up but makes a good shallow second dive. There are bits of cargo still recognisable including some large iron wheels stacked together.

The Frederick - AKA The Musket Wreck

There is not much left of this shipwreck apart from the cargo, a huge lump of metal that was probably a load of swords. She has been named "The Musket Wreck" due to divers previously recovering whole flinlocks and parts. There are great gullies at this site that are full of life and if you look very carefully at about 20 mts you can still find small trading beads that the seabed will give up from time to time.

Snakelocks

Divers



Wreck Tour 173 Nimrod - CLICK HERE TO READ

A Paddle Steamer from Ireland, 583 tons, length 177 feet, beam 25 feet. Sank in 1860 off St David's Head in depths of between 18m and 32m. Forty five people died, unable to climb the cliffs to safety.
The Captain had previously declined help from a passing ship.

The wreck is in three parts, her anchor lies at 20m and the chain leads down to 30m.
The middle section is nearby at 35m - Two boilers are still standing.


For more info on the Nimrod and our other wreck dive sites please click to read John Liddiard's feature Legends in Their Own Lunchbox - The Pride of Pembrokeshire


NIMROD

Nimrod


Wreck Tour 154 Count D'Aspremont - CLICK HERE TO READ

This schooner-rigged steamship was the victim of a storm in 1903. In a Force 8 gale from the south-south-west, perhaps Captain Wood was taking the tricky route through Ramsey Sound to get some shelter from the sea. Horse Rock is difficult to spot at the best of times. The crew came safely ashore in their own boat. Four hours later, the flood tide carried the Count D’Aspremont off the rock, and she sank 300m to the north.

Count D'Aspremont


The Langton Grange - Bell Rock

See John Liddiard's Feature "A Turn Around Bell Rock": Click Here to read the feature


The Graffoe - Ramsey Island

For info and photos from this shipwreck click to read John Liddiard's article: At Ease With Plan B's

John Liddiard

Wreck Tour 160 Whitehaven - CLICK HERE TO READ

Paddle-tug - BUILT 1875, SUNK 1879 - 232-ton - On 21 May, 1879, the Whitehaven was on passage from Liverpool to King Road, at the mouth of the River Avon in the Bristol Channel. Captain James Hodgson and his crew of 10 had 12 passengers on board. The sea was calm but it was foggy when, heading down Ramsey Sound, Captain Hodgson’s attention was called to a ripple sea some 150m ahead. Although aware of the danger of Horse Rock, Hodgson took no avoiding action, thinking the ripple to be part of the tidal race at the end of the sound. At 10am the Whitehaven struck, then continued with the tide to sink off Porth Clais.

The wreck lies along a gully with the boiler tipped on end.

See John Liddiard's Feature "Second Time Lucky": Click Here to read the feature

 

Whitehaven



The George - Porth Lyski

Steamer, boiler still intact, wrasse and conger in residence.

Pie Gulley - Solva

Depth down to 20m, anenomies, starfish, tubeworms, fans, nudibranchs, absolutely teeming with life.

Green Scar - Solva

Depth 18m. Bits of steamship wreckage are scattered on the bottom, a boiler sticks out from the sand, chain runs across to an anchor.

Black Scar - Solva

Small reef with plenty of life - seals often bask in the sun on the exposed rocks.

Reef Solva

SW of Green Scar, runs north to south. Large gullies to 20 metes Plenty of life; dog fish, sea cucumbers.

SLEEPING DOGFISH


Edible Crab



Skomer

Home to a variety of wild life; Grey Seal, Puffins, Razorbills, Choughs, Guillemots, Kittiwakes, Fulmars, Gulls, Dolphins and Porpoise.

The Island and surroundings are a Marine National Park and nothing is to be taken from the sea bed. The North Wall and Rye Rocks are just two of the sites thet we like to dive here.

Wreck Tour 106 The Highland Home - Click Here to read

Wreck Tour 3 The Lucy - Click Here to read

The most famous shipwreck of Wales has to be the 450-ton two-hold Dutch coaster Lucy. 168ft long she sank in 1967 with a cargo of calcium carbide. Having struck Cable Rock in the middle of Jack Sound on Valentine's Day, the 7-man crew and one Collie dog promptly abandoned ship to avoid the results of the sea water mixing with calcium carbide.

She remained fairly well balanced on the reef until the early evening when the full tide lifted her off. The last sighting of her was that she was off through Jack sound heading North into St Brides Bay with a heavy list to starboard. She was never seen again, on the surface that is!! The current carried her into the entrance to North Haven where she sank perfectly upright in 40m of water.

Divers interested in visiting this site must have proof of recent deep diving experience and qualifications.


seals



Grassholm

By special arrangement. We can take divers close to this incredible island.
11 nautical miles offshore, get mobbed by seals, dive bombed by gannets and escorted by porpoise !

There are 3 Shipwrecks: Dalserf - 26m, Mersey - 10m and Walter LM Russ - 10m

Weather conditions and tides have to be correct - we can only dive this site on certain dates please discuss with us prior to booking

SHIPWRECK


The Smalls

The Smalls are famous for the marine life, including a large colony of seals. Visibility can be up to 25 metres.

There are a number of shipwrecks here but these are fairly well broken up and eclipsed by the fantastastic topography and underwater life that can be observed.

The Smalls are also a great spot for seeing dolphins and catching tasty mackerel !

Weather conditions and tides have to be correct - we can only dive this site on certain dates please discuss with us prior to booking

Smalls Feature "Emotionally Charged" - Martin Bruce
Published in Sport Diver magazine January 2010
Click here to read

Smalls Feature "Big Trip to The Smalls " - John Liddiard
Published in Diver magazine July 2011
Click here to see our Smalls in Diver Magazine !

JH on the Smalls

JanHazel on the Smalls taken from Wandrin' Star

 



Wrecks of Milford Haven Waterway

We usually only dive these sites during the winter when Wandrin' Star is moored at Milford Marina or when the northerlies blow during the summer and we trailer JanHazel down to launch at Dale.

Wreck Tour 19 The Dakotian - Click Here to read John Liddiard's feature

Wreck Tour 37 The Behar - Click Here to read John Liddiard's feature

Dive Sites Wales, Wreck Diving, Shipwrecks, welsh coast, Cardigan Bay, Pembrokeshire, West Wales

This site last updated 1 Jan 2013