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Da Plan:

Meet: 9.15, Brighton Marina Charter Boat pier (click here)
Bring: Complete kit including weights, two cylinders, reel & SMB, torches.
Boat: MV Ocean Fortune
Dives: One wreck dive (ie Fortuna or Pentrick) and one Drift or Reef dive.
Parking: There is a free, multi-storey car park in the marina.

 
 

MV Ocean Soul

The Ocean Soul is a 12 person dive boat licenced to go out to 60 miles from safe harbour. She carries O2, First Aid Kits and full safety kit. There is a loo on board as well as a small galley for tea and coffee.


SS Fortuna

The Fortuna was a 1254 tone Dutch cargo steamer taking a cargo of cement from Rotterdam to Cardiff. In September 1916 she hit a mine layed by German mine-laying sub UC-16 and went down off Beachy Head with her cargo and the loss of fifteen crew. She is approximately 76m long with a beam of 11m.

The Fortuna now lies fairly intact in about 32m of water with her bows marking the highest point. She is considered an excellent dive. Divers say that it is possible to get all round the almost-intact ship on

one dive. She is clearly Dutch- with Dutch lettering on her portholes, and Dutch beer bottles at the back of the wheelhouse. Until quite recently the doors were intact and one of them even still had a key in it. Most damage from the mine appears to be at the stern where it is possible to enter her through a large hole. Her cargo of cement is still in its paper sacks, though solid of course. WARNING: It is possible to enter the Fortuna through the stern. However she is silted to within 3ft of the top. All bulkheads are gone, so if the silt is disturbed the visibility goes in the whole section.

SS Pentrych

Built in 1899 and launched as the Bardsey, this 3382 ton Teeside steamship plied it's trade for nine years before passing into the ownership of the Pentwyn Steamship Co. Ltd. Re-named Pentyrch in tribute to a village north west of Cardiff and armed with a stern mounted 4.7 inch gun, she survived 3 years of wartime trading - but not without incident. During a Mediterranean passage, on September 30th 1916, Pentyrch luckily escaped a mauling from a German submarine, during which she was narrowly missed by a torpedo and suffered damage by gunfire from the pursuing sub. No casualties were reported.

She was not so lucky on April 18th 1918, when laden with coal and five miles W.N.W. of the Brighton Light Vessel, she again came under submarine attack, this time from the UB-40 (which survived the war only to be blown up by the Germans themselves when they evacuated their Flanders Flotilla Base in Bruges). This time a torpedo found its mark and quickly sank her with one fatality among the crew.

She now lies in an easy 17-21m, her highest point 7m proud of the seabed. She is a good dive especially for novices as, even though her sides were blown apart her stern section remains and she still looks ship-like.

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