St Dunstan wreck

Depth 30m, 5m proud of gravel seabed

This wreck is an old bucket dredger which was being used as a mine sweeper when she hit a mine on 23rd Sept 1917. She is a 200ft long iron vessel which now lies upside down on a gravel sea bed.

Both props and rudders lie on the sea bed at the stern and the prop shafts are clearly visible. Along the length of the upturned hull you can see the doors where the dredging buckets would have been deployed. Entering the wreck at the stern, following a prop-shaft forwards to emerge on the port side about amidships. It is then possible to re-enter the wreck through the dredging hatch and swim forwards to the engine.

You can actually follow the prop-shafts all the way to to the engine although it’s a bit of a squeeze through some mangled girders to actually get into the engine room. On the way you pass a number of the dredging buckets and can see the fittings where they would have been attached to the chains driving them.

The engine room itself is spectacular with many control wheels still in place. The mechanism of the huge engine is clearly visible. From the engine room, it is possible to squeeze between the two huge boilers and emerge in the bow section which is very pretty with light filtering everywhere and hundreds of fish. There’s piles of chain but no sign of the anchors.

Outside and on the starboard side there is a huge collection of machinery including one gear wheel which is about 8ft in diameter which was probably used to drive the dredging buckets.