Dive Trails

Of the 53 Protected Wreck Sites off England there are currently five (and more to come) that you can access on a protected wreck dive trail or you can visit a wreck that lies above water.

On this page:

Protected wreck locations

 

A map of the locations of wrecks with legal protection around the coast of the UK dated August 2017
There are currently 53 wrecks designated under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973 in England © Historic England

Dive trails

Run by licensees and charter boat skippers, dive trails enable interested divers to get responsible access to protected wreck sites. Historic England has supported the development of these dive trails and the interpretation materials they include. Divers visiting the trails get the benefit of the insight and orientation provided by the trails and also the experience of the licensed teams and their archaeologists.

Follow the links below to find out about the wrecks and how to access the dive trails that are currently open:

Colossus Dive Trail Credit CISMAS Kevin Camidge

HMS Colossus

The Colossus was a 74-gun warship wrecked in 1798 in the Isles of Scilly.

Find out why Colossus is a protected wreck

Dive HMS Colossus

IonaII paddle wheel debris with paddle shaft above. Credit Wessex Archaeology

Iona II

Paddle steamer Iona II is a protected wreck lying off the east coast of Lundy where she foundered after setting sail to assist in the American Civil War.

Find out why Iona II is a protected wreck

Dive Iona II

Credit Sophie Rennie and the Coronation Wreck Project

Coronation

The Coronation was a 90-gun second rate built in 1685. She saw defeat at the Battle of Beachy Head in 1690 before foundering in a strong gale whilst patrolling for the French fleet off Plymouth.

Find out why Coronation is a protected wreck

Dive the Coronation

Sailors standing on a submarine

HMS A1

The A1 was the first British designed and built submarine used by the Royal Navy. She was lost off Selsey Bill during unmanned trials in 1911

Find out why HMS A1 is a protected wreck

Dive HMS A1

Diver recording cannon on Normans Bay. Credit Martin Davies

Norman's Bay

The Norman's Bay wreck contains a cluster of at least 51 iron guns, timber hull structure and various other artefacts including a large anchor on top of a ballast mound. The identity of the wreck is still being researched but archaeologists think it is the 64-gun Dutch warship, the Wapen Van Utrecht, which sank during the Battle of Beachy Head in 1690.

Find out why Normans Bay is protected

Dive Norman's Bay

Thorness Bay wreck

Thorness Bay

Explore the remains of a mid to late 19th century sailing ship lying off the coast of the Isle of Wight..

Find out why Thorness Bay is a protected wreck.

Dive Thorness Bay

Follow #HEDiveTrail on Twitter or sign up to our maritime and coastal newsletter for updates on their development.

How divers rate the dive trails

The feedback from all of the trails has been very positive. Divers tell us that the trail booklets really help get orientated underwater and help them understand what they are seeing.

How your dive helps us to care for the wrecks

We ask divers to share the photos they take of protected wreck sites with us. The photos you supply help us to monitor the condition of the wreck site as part of our Heritage at Risk work. Photos can be shared with @HE_Maritime on Twitter using the #HEDiveTrail hashtag or added to the wreck's List entry. Find out how to share your dive photos on the The List.

Your visits to wreck sites accompanied by licensed divers also deter those thinking of illegally accessing the wrecks.

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