The Diving

The diving around Guernsey is endless.  A diver could not see it all in a lifetime.  Below is just is just a small selection of what is available.

Wrecks

SS STELLA   - Most wrecks are associated with suffering and tragedy…none more so than the loss of the Channel Island railway steamer Stella that sank with the loss of around 100 lives after striking the Casquets. The Stella was a 1,059 gross tons ship of the Frederica class built on Clydebank in 1890. The vessel, sailing to Guernsey from Southampton, was packed for it was the start of the Easter holiday. The railway steamer, which struck while in thick fog, sank within eight just minutes. The official board of trade report into the 1899 accident, records that of the 174 passengers and 43 crew on board that day, 105 lost their lives. However, there is still uncertainty about the true number of casualties, given the unreliable information about the identity of some of the deceased.

CEMENT - A German cargo vessel bombed by the R.A.F. during the second World War.  Lying upright in twenty eight metres of water she is still in tact and makes a good training/novice dive.

AMMO - Another German cargo vessel also sunk during the War.  As her name implies she was carrying amunition.  Bombed as she left St. Peter Port, she lies just outside the harbour on a slope at thirty metres.  Although close to the harbour this is an excellent dive because of tides, shipping, and low light levels.  This seemingly easy wreck needs treating with more caution than is apparent.

FORTH - A small coaster which struck rocks to the north of Herm Island.  Lying in two halves in fifteen metres she is an easy dive.  Ideal for novice divers or a first day dive.

KERNSIDE - A small coaster which struck the humps about sixty years ago.  Known only to a few people, this wreck has been dived very little and a NO TOUCH policy operates on this wreck.    She lies upright in forty three metres, but because of strong tides this is a fairly challenging dive.

CANNONS - A group of sixteen cannons lying at the foot of the Caval Reef in fifteen metres.    Their origins are unknown, but it is likely they were ditched from a large ship of the line, stuck on the reef.  This reef is famous for vast amounts of spider crabs which come here to mate during the summer months.  It is an easy dive; ideal for visitors looking for a scenic dive.

BRIGHTON - A paddle steamer which struck the Platte Fougere Reef.  Lying in fifty metres she is a difficult dive with a small slack tide window.  Only for the most experienced diver.

CAPTAIN NIKO -    A large wreck which caught fire and sank three miles off the west coast of Guernsey.  Lying in forty five metres she is a challenging dive and is starting to break up.  For those divers capable and wishing to get the hammers and chisles out she has lots to offer.  A team could spend days on this wreck and not see it all.

BRISEIS - A French steamer of three thousand tons, she sunk after striking the Grunes Reef in 1937.    Her cargo of three hundred barrels of wine was washed ashore in Vazon Bay.    The local people were drunk for months after.  Lying in twenty metres, she is well broken up but makes a good second dive or training dive.  A good wreck for marine life.  Normally only diveable in the summer months.

        There are many other wrecks around Guernsey, but owing to the large ground swell during winter many have been broken up, leaving more wreckage than intact wrecks.

The Reefs

        The reef diving is as good as it gets.  Huge tide ranges mean commercial fishing is very difficult in Guernsey.    Abundent marine life is everywhere.  The island of Sark is particularly good for sport diving.  As commercial fishing is strongly regulated, diving for fish or shellfish is prohibited except for licenced scallop divers.  I could list some reef dives, but where do I start?  The list is endless.