Shipwreck Project 2018 - 2019
The aim of the Dorset Shipwreck Project is to identify one or more of several unconfirmed wrecks in the Portland Bill area. We will be following up on information obtained from the Shipwreck Project, which identified a number of interesting but unidentified wrecks.
The targeted shipwrecks have yet to be identified, most with considerable conflicting opinions as to the name of the ship. It will take detailed surveys and subsequent research and exchanging of information to put enough pieces together to confidently draw conclusions. Most wrecks were wooden from the 18th and 19th century, so the surveys will be of remaining contents of the ships, such as cannons, mortars, ballast and other less degradable objects. Interestingly ivory tusks have been previously found on one of the wreck suggesting it was an Indiaman.
Through the Shipwreck Project, and subsequent surveys of one of the sites by Wessex Archaeology, there are detailed images of objects resting on the seabed and visible. Some of the wrecks have been visited by divers interested in just having a look without gathering any actual data. This expedition will build on previous survey information by underwater searching, mapping, and identifying the remains of the wrecks to the extent possible. Hopefully this will lead to the confirmed identity of one or more of the wrecks.
The data will be collected with the aim of submitting a written article for publication in the BSAC magazine. As well as collecting and sharing of information, it is hoped that this expedition will actively promote further interest by other divers to continue with searching, surveying and supporting the identification of wrecks along the Dorset coast.
Cuckoo Project 2013
The Cuckoo is one of those wrecks that most divers in southern England have heard about and many have probably dived, but not often taken the time to really explore both the wreck and surrounding sandy bottom.
We adopted the wreck at the beginning of the 2013 diving season and our Project Leader carried out some historical research prior to a number of members conducting an extensive underwater survey. The aim of our research was to ascertain if this was the ASR-12 wreck.
We would like to thank the BSAC Jubilee Trust for granting us the funds which enabled us to carry out the surveying, without which the entire project would not have been possible.
The photograph above is (c) Alan Kempster and the Scottish Maritime Museum, reproduced with their kind permission. It show the restored ASR-10 'Cuckoo' at their site. You can see more about ASR-10 here: https://flic.kr/p/rschN6.