The Firth of Lorne and surrounding areas offer a variety of exceptional wreck dive sites.
A deservedly popular site, the Hispania is one of the most dived wrecks in Scotland. She was a steel cargo steamship that sank in 1954 in the Sound of Mull, whilst carrying a cargo of steel, asbestos and rubber from Liverpool to Sweden. This was a rare example in recent times where the Captain chose to go down with his ship.
Today the wreck sits in around 30 metres of water, with the deck around 24 metres, and is almost completely carpeted in spectacular sealife. The strong tides in this area mean the site needs to be dived at slack water. Slack water itself can be short and it can be running on the surface and yet slack on the wreck, and vice-versa. This dive is only suited to experienced divers, capable of dealing with tidal shot-lines.
The Meldon fell victim to mines laid by a German u-boat early in 1917. This steel steamship struck one of these mines off the Garvellachs, and was forced to head for Loch Buie on the south coast of the Isle Of Mull. Here she went ashore, allowing the crew a safe escape, and she now lies in around 13 metres of water, just offshore. The sloping nature of the shingle seabed means that her rudder post can be seen above the surface at low water. This is a very pretty wreck covered in a variety of sealife, that on a calm day is well suited to most levels of ability.
The SS Breda
The SS Breda is a very popular wreck site, found just off the mainland north of Oban. She was sunk in December 1940 by German Bombers, but managed to run ashore in a vain effort to save her valuable cargo that included aeroplanes and military vehicles. She lies in Ardmucknish bay, at a depth of around 30 metres to the seabed, with the deck being around 19 metres.
The Rondo took shelter in Aros bay, on the Isle of Mull, during a violent storm in 1935. Unfortunately the anchor chain broke, and she drifted down the Sound of Mull and onto the rocks of Dearg Sgeir. She lay here until she was eventually washed off and settled into the deep water next to this small island. She now lies vertically against the underwater rock face, with her bow on the seabed at around 50 metres depth, and her rudder post only a few metres beneath the surface. The hull is beautifully adorned in an array of anemones and dead-man’s fingers, whilst pollock, wrasse and saithe are frequently encountered.
The tale of the sinking of the Benghazi is one of heroism and tragedy. In 1947 she was ten miles south of Oban, having just stopped for coal and provisions, when she became caught in a gale. She struck a rock, known as Bogha Nuadh, and listed heavily to one side, taking in water. The lifeboat was launched, but it was immediately apparent that the bung was missing. The ships cook, Charles Bevin, used his fist to block the bung hole, and twelve crew mates joined him in the boat. After two hours at the mercy of
the tides, and in freezing waters, they were washed ashore on the Isle of Luing. Unaware of their location, and with conditions still bad, they spent the night huddled together to keep warm. Sadly Bevan died of exposure during the night. Meanwhile, the Benghazi had become unstuck and had drifted onto the shore of Fladda, in the Sound of Luing. Her Captain, Bosun, Mate and one other crewmen were still aboard. During the night, amidst the turmoil of crashing seas, the crewman was lost. Because of the ongoing storm, it was some time before the remaining three men could be rescued. The wreck now lies on Fladda, in the Firth of Lorn.
The Thesis was carrying pig iron from Middlesborough to Belfast in October 1889, when in calm conditions and under a clear sky she struck a reef towards the south end of the Sound of Mull. Details are a bit sketchy as to the exact details surrounding her loss, but today she lies only fifty metres from the Morvern shore at Rubha an Ridire. The bow sits in around 20 metres depth, and the stern at around 35 metres. This tidal wreck in the Sound of Mull, is only suited to relatively experienced divers.
To see details of some of our dive sites, click on the links below.