WreckMap Britain 2006

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Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Following a successful pilot scheme in 2005 the NAS ran WreckMap Britain 2006 with the support of Seasearch, Crown Estate, PADI Project Aware and the British Sub-Aqua Jubilee Trust.

The project aims to get UK divers to collect and report basic archaeological and biological information about a wreck site that they dive on

Who can participate?
We hope to encourage as many of the 100,000 active divers in the UK as possible to participate as a part of their normal diving activities - just take a recording slate with you when you do a planned dive on a wreck site, record what you see and then report it back to us.
Above: Photograph of a diver conducting an underwater survey, by Alison Fuller-Shapcott, one of this years winning survey entries.

What can be recorded?
We were not expecting divers to attempt a detailed and accurate survey during your dive. Rather, to record some basic, but specific, information about what you see and to make a simple, "swim-over" or profile sketch of the dive site. A special Wreckmap Britain recording form was prepared to assist in recording the desired information.

Divers are also encouraged to use whatever photographic or video equipment they had available to make additional records to accompany your observations.

How can the data be reported?
After the dive, you can simply post their completed form (or a transcribed copy) together with any accompanying photographs or video to the NAS offices.

In return for contributing to WreckMap Britain 2006, every participant will receive a certificate to say that they helped record Britain's underwater heritage.

What will happen to the data?
For each dive site recorded, the submitted data is collated and placed on the NAS website where it will soon be available for anybody to see and use for dive planning and site interpretation. In addition, for each site: · biological data will be submitted to the MCS for inclusion in its SeaSearch project · archaeological data will be submitted to the appropriate National Archive or local Historic Environment Record Archive (eg. the local Sites and Monuments Record).

Project Supporters
Wreckmap Britain 2006 has been supported by the following organisations:

  • The Nautical Archaeology Society
  • The Marine Conservation Society and SeaSeach UK
  • The Crown Estate
  • PADI Project Aware Foundation
  • British Sub Aqua Jubilee Trust
  • Dive Master Insurance
  • The Dive Connection, Portsmouth

Efforts rewarded?
Thanks to the support of Dive Master Insurance and The Dive Connection, we were able to offer prizes to the best three submissions to Wreckmap Britain 2006.

The winner of the first prize was Alison Fuller-Shapcott who along with buddies from the Kelso and Berwickshire SCOTSAC clubs recorded the wreck of the President which sank off the Berwickshire coast near Eyemouth, Scotland (55° 52.185N; 2° 08.400W).

The President was on route to Methil in Fife from Hamburg when she ran aground in thick fog on 29th June 1928. The wreck is well broken up with only a few of the deck structures and her two boilers still visible on the seabed (Shapcott 2006).

Alison and buddies receiving their SeaLife DC500 Pro underwater digital camera from Bob Archell (Divemaster Insurance) and Cher Platt (Project Aware) - see photograph above. The camera was donated by Dive Master Insurance.

Divers that took part in the survey were: Alison and David Fuller-Shapcott, Dave Bell, Mark Seed, Mike Tuson, John Pringle, Michelle Imrie, Claire Tuck, James O'Rourke and Iain Somervail.

WMB2006 1st prize

Second prize went to Sid Payne from Mid Herts Dive Club who recorded the stern section of the wreck of the P12, off Culver Cliff on the Isle of Wight 50° 39.40N; 01° 05.00W. The P12 was a 613 tonne Royal Navy patrol boat which sank in the eastern Solent in 1918. The broken up wreck lies in about 20-22m of water and presents a diverse habitat for marine life including Wrass, Bass, anemones and crabs

Their prize, a Typhoon Elevator BCD was donated by the Dive Connection in Portsmouth. See photograph right.

Nick Poling from the Dive Connection said “it is important that we continue to map the wrecks of the Portsmouth area and continue to monitor their condition for future generations”

WMB2006 2nd prize

The third prize, consisting of a collection of Larn's Shipwreck Index of the British Isles was won by Katherine Burns, from Leicester Underwater Explorers BSAC, who mapped the wreck of the Glanmire 55° 55.16N; 02° 08.08W

Katherine's detailed, yet simple swim over sketch shows not only the extent of the physical wreckage of the Glanmire but also very clearly indicates the presence and location of marine life.

WMB2006 3rd prize

Can I still contribute?
WreckMap Britain continues! Now that the WreckMap Britain recording form has been created and information has started to be added to the database that everybody will be soon be able to see and use we hope that divers will continue to see the merit in adding their dives to the database.

WMB Form

The result could potentially be a very useful resource that is not only a record of what is on the seabed around the UK, but also as a useful tool in dive planning. You might even find that you enjoy it.

The database
Edited site reports are now available to the general public through our online database. The public display is designed to allow more forms to be added to sites, allowing us to see how sites change over time and with the seasons:

List of wreck sites

The following link allows you to download the wreck data as a KML format datafile. This contains the basic site description PLUS geographical coordinates, allowing programs like 'Google Earth' to display all of the sites in their geographical locations around the UK.