Segontium Wreck, North Wales, June 2021

Reports on our previous club dive trips and some of our day diving activities
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Neil Radcliffe
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Location: Lives in Whalley near Clitheroe
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Segontium Wreck, North Wales, June 2021

Post by Neil Radcliffe »

Segontium Wreck, N Wales, June 2021.

The Club’s initial plan to dive this wreck three weeks prior was blown-out by a storm, but fortunately the opportunity arose for a mid-week day-dash, in company with the Livepool Uni Club (Tom B being the common link, he’s a member of both Clubs).

The intrepid Chorley divers were Maria, Graham and Neil, with guest Andy, (aka ‘Andy the Northern Diver’); the latter paid his dues by kindly towing our RIB there and back. Plus long-time member Geoff who acted as our Cox for the day. The Liverpool squad racked up with 6 Divers, and their own mightily impressive RIB.
Launching from Ty Calch all went to plan, and despite the unwelcome breeze, the sea states were mostly good, with just a smattering of proper lumpiness as we passed through the mouth area of the Menai Straits. Despite their learner drivers, the Liverpool bods led the way nicely to the wreck-site, where they had volunteered to deploy the shot-line.

I believe there’s an old Chinese proverb which says something like “boat users whose Sonar is not working should not criticise the shot-line performance of others”. So all I’ll say on the matter is that their own first wave of four, plus Maria and Graham from our boat, unfortunately had a dive on HMS Vicinity, i.e. a flat, sandy and mostly uninspiring sea-bed.

A re-deployed shot worked much better, and the remaining two from each boat found the wreck, although in truth there is so much marine growth (dead-men’s fingers and the like) that it was genuinely hard to see rusty metal.

And once again this self-confessed ‘wreckie’ is forced to admit that the real highlight was a marine-life encounter – we found and freed a trapped catshark / dogfish, and a big one at that. It’s snout was firmly stuck in some old fishing netting, and to be honest we both thought it was dead. However after a fair bit of shaking from Andy, it suddenly sprang into life. A moment of bravery was needed to firmly hold its head steady whilst Andy cut the netting, and only seconds later it was free! Cue fist bumping and delighted squeals from us, clearly heard despite the underwater setting. Similar heroics were then performed to free some trapped lobsters in a ‘ghost’ pot. All too soon we ran into our chosen max deco time, and a truly memorable dive came to a successful end. Andy was shooting video when task-loading allowed, hopefully some great footage will emerge soon.

Despite the odd hiccup with our RIB - I fear the list of things needing fixing will be quite long - this was one of those days which reminds you how brilliant this sport can be. Many thanks to Maria for initial liaison, organisation and faultless planning, and I really hope that Andy and myself didn’t rub it in too much for yourself and Graham respectively during our journeys home.

Reminders for next time: a) the HW slack is impressively long, but depths on the day (~31m even at high deck levels) were greater than were expected, and b) don’t forget to use sunscreen!
Maria H
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Re: Segontium Wreck, North Wales, June 2021

Post by Maria H »

It was a good day out, though gutted to have missed the wreck! Highlights on HMS Seabed included an impressive ray (I think it was a thornback) and some large spider crabs. I forgot to take a photo of the ray.

I had a thorough salt water facial on the return journey, thanks to the sea being a bit choppy😳
Geoff Roberts
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Re: Segontium Wreck, North Wales, June 2021

Post by Geoff Roberts »

There’s a film of someone having a sinus lavage similar to the one Maria received when we were unwisely attempting to empty a rib full of water by driving into a 1 metre sea at 15 knots.
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