New wreck site on the Spanish Ledges, Scilly - Todd Stevens

Preliminary Dive Report

Early June 2009 onwards

During the period in June, 2009, an extensive proton magnetometer survey was conducted  between the Bartholomew and Spanish Ledges.  A strong target was indentified, worthy of investigation at N 49, 54, 145: W 006, 19, 372. (WGS 84 Datum)

A very disturbed area of water ( i.e. extremely tidal and generally given to be quite lumpy) June 12th.  Dived the site alone for the first time at slack water at 1.30pm. (4 hours before high water St Mary’s)  Found an old angle crown admiralty pattern anchor.  A quick search then revealed a large iron cargo mound, north of the anchor about 15 metres distant. Site looks to be old- probably 18th century.  I searched around for a bit then dragged my boat over to the site and laid my anchor nearby the wreck to be able gain a more accurate GPS position later on the surface. I then tied a thin line, connecting the site to the old iron anchor nearby. I noted that part of the iron mound is suspended off the sea bed. This is where the wooden ship structure that once held it in this elevated position has long since rotted away. However, numerous timbers were noted sticking out of the sand beneath the cargo. I wafted away some sand and sure enough I started to uncover large ships timbers. I then surfaced with an unidentifiable iron object, in order to declare the site to the Receiver of Wreck. Depth 20 metres; visibility excellent. Carmen Stevens and Phillip Roberts, were on board at the time. Carmen then opted to dive the site after me but by then the tide was starting to run. She had nothing new to report. Filled in and posted off a form declaring the discovery to the Receiver of Wreck and Hydrographic Office. Have been diving the site regularly ever since uncovering other iron parts of the ships structure towards the south east -between the mound and anchor. I believe there to be more wreckage further a field as we have more magnetometer readings to investigate nearby. Wreck site fits that of the Padstow- a 91 ton brig lost in 1804.

Further searching revealed another large anchor among rocks to the North and a small much older anchor 60m to the South West.  Work continues.


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