Ex - H M S Scylla
Ex - HMS Scylla (50º19.665ÂN, 004º15.162ÂW)
An ex-Royal Navy frigate, HMS Scylla, was placed on the seabed in Whitsand Bay, south Cornwall on 27th March 2004. The reef was placed there by the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth with funding from the South West of England Regional Development Agency as a giant climbing frame for divers. The vessel had its top chopped-off and holes cut into the side to allow divers to swim through the hull.
Plymouth Sound Dive Club goes to the reef fairly frequently but avoids weekends in the summer when boat traffic gets a bit busy. There are marker buoys and it is best to descend and to ascend those or to use a delayed SMB to ascend Â unless you want your head chopped off. If you have the appropriate training and confidence, the swim-throughs are a safe place to explore the insides if you get bored with the outsides. The placement went very well and Scylla now (winter 2008/9) supports a mature steel wreck community visually dominated by plumose anemones, dead menÂs fingers, sea squirts and tubular hydroids.
There is much more marine life to fascinate the amateur naturalist and, in 2007, the sea fans settled so adding to the beauty of the reef. Scylla is excellent for photography. Please click here for more information about the Scylla site. By Keith Hiscock
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All underwater images ©Keith Hiscock