Deep Sea Diving , In Dorset

by steveblakesley on March 16, 2011

Deep sea Diving might seem a strange subject for a B&B Owner to write about , but in this area of Lyme Bay many of our guests are divers, and there are many dive boats that operate from West Bay Harbour.

There are scores of interesting dive sites , not just Ships but World war Bombers as well at a depth of 11m on a sandy bottom you can find

The remains of an American Flying Fortress which is a great dive for novices . The 18 metre wings along with the undercarriage wheels still remain in place along with the fuel tanks , but the main fuselage and engines are missing and as of yet have to be discovered . unfortunately sometimes after winter storms, parts of the wreck can become covered.

Further along the coast at a depth of 35 m on a sandy bottom you can find the wreak of M2 a very sad story, built in 1918 by the Famous Vickers factory , The m2 sunk in 1932 and its full crew of 60 were lost to the sea.

Salvage attempts were made just after the disaster struck, but the weather conditions and the weight of the ship stopped the salvage ship just as the wreck was breaking the surface , so close.

There was a 12 inch gun on her foredeck originally but was removed in 1927 before she sank , to convert part of its deck to carry a small folding-wing sea-plane .

The theory behind the sinking is that her hanger doors were left open which led her to taking on to much water and casing her to sink, you can still the hanger door and the winch which was used to lift the plane into position for launching.

She  sits complete and upright. Her hangar doors are  open and you look inside admittedly silt filled. which is now the home of crabs, pollock, wrasse and congers which can be seen inside her.

She can dived at slack water as currants, at times are quite strong here.

And a little further out at Depth 36m,  a  submarine the UB74 she was a world war one U-Boat which terrified allied shipping during the 1st World War , it was sunk by depth charge drop by an armed yacht named the Lorna in May 1918.

The UB is broken up ,and has been used by the navy as an ASDIC Target , but remains an interesting dive.

Another submarine a  British ‘S’ class sunk in Portland Harbour in June 1955, after an explosion in her torpedo bay.

She was raised , moved out of the Harbour and re sunk in 1957 to use as a ASDIC Target , but still makes a great dive

There are numerous older wrecks in Lyme bay and if you would like further information of Dives out of Westbay here is a link to skipper Keith Ferris web site

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