Random Jottings

When do 'recommendations' become 'rules'?

A brief update on HMS Scylla and 'changes' to the recommendations...............

As you may, or may not be aware the natural reef that is HMS Scylla is 'owned' by the National Marine Aquarium who are running several projects monitoring the colonisation of the wreck over time.

I'm not sure what caused the announcement but my sources tell me that following a meeting of the great and good the owners have advised that penetration diving should stop as it is 'dangerous' to penetrate the wreck as it slowly deteriorates......

I am told that the statement has not been followed up with any actions, divers who have visited the wreck know that there are large amounts of holes cut into the vessel to make penetration 'relatively easy, now I know that easy is a very personal term and people have died on the wreck despite the large amounts of holes so let's not get to tied up with words.

From what I can see dive operators are advising divers to 'dive to the conditions and qualifications', which in the absence of grilles over the holes is about all that can be done as policing this edict without divers or cameras will be very difficult.

Penetration diving in the Scylla should not be lightly undertaken, I feel confident in my own skill levels but the build up in silt and sometime 'surgie' condtions means that I don't always go inside the wreck in general and engine rooms specifically, this area is filling with silt and with various snagging hazards it's not a good place to be if there's any surge at all. 

My advice to those visiting Scylla for the first time would be to dive to your skills, if you must penetrate then start at 'the top' where there is lots of natural light and stay well within your comfort zone. For those who have visited before, don't assume things stay the same, silt has built up and for all of you don't become a bloody statistic!

I assume that if there are more problems with divers getting into difficulties the owners may consider fitting grilles, this wont be good for anyone so please, please dive sensibly and follow the advice of your skipper who will know the level of surge based on wind, wave and tide.

In this case especially, please.......dive safe!!!

RichW


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