Scylla Reef Update - October 2014

Following the surveying of Scylla Reef earlier this year the National Marine Aquarium is now issuing the following advice to divers.

The condition of the wreck appears to have substantially deteriorated since the last survey in 2013.

This is partly due to the extreme weather of last winter but also the effects of dissimilar metals used in the original construction of the vessel.

The result is that the interior of the wreck must now be regarded as unsafe for diving.

Collapsing of fittings, bulk heads and deck heads has caused cables to become free hanging and the collapsing of internal fittings. As corrosion continues to worsen, further debris from the site will loosen and cause access difficulties to divers wishing to penetrate the wreck.

The former HMS Scylla has now been lying on the sea bed in Whitsand Bay for some 10 years so this level of degradation is only to be expected. However, it has now reached a level where the wreck must be considered too dangerous to penetrate.

Therefore, it is the National Marine Aquarium’s very considered opinion that no-one should penetrate the wreck during diving activities.

The exterior of the wreck remains a highly rewarding scenic dive and represents a fantastic example of how successful an artificial reef in UK waters can be.

Scylla is home to many diverse species of marine life including some of the most highly protected species in the UK.

Although there was some loss of encrusting life due to the storms of early 2014 this will quickly recover.

Care should also be taken if diving around Scylla to avoid the numerous pieces of discarded commercial fishing gear and other debris that has accumulated on and around the site over the years.

Discared Fishing Gear on the Sea Floor near Scylla

A hatch on the starboard side showing extensive areas of paint where marine life has been scoured off

Debris within internal companionway clocking passage

Thumbnail label Trailing cables within companionway providing snagging hazard