Sussex located in sourthern England boasts great underwater
scenery and lots of marine life. There are many interesting dive
sites whose diversity gives novices amd intermediate divers a
good diving opportunities while the advanced diver can explore
the numerous wrecks.
Always dive according to your level of training.
Never enter the water without checking with the local dive center
for safety, additional information, level required for each dive
site and without being accompanied by a professional. All the
information provided is purely informative for our readers and
shouldn't be used as is to plan your immersion.
Sussex diving is among some of the best in the
UK with lots of wrecks littered on its coastline
from both World Wars. In addition to the wrecks there
are reefs, boulders, canyons and crevices. These altogether
attract a lot of marine life like shellfish, cuttlefish wrasse
and rays as well as lobsters and bib just to mention a few. Soft
corals and sponges are abundant here as well.
Some West Sussex dive sites:
Silo Reef has a rocky bottom and is close to
the shore, about 1 mile (1.6 km) away. This site has abundant
marine life including edible crabs and lobsters.
Also to be seen here are big shoals of bib, cod, ballan
wrasse and cuckoo wrass. The maximum depth is 10-12 metres
(33-39 feet) at high tide.
Selsey Lifeboat Station is teeming with marine
life. A little reef, landing craft and the remnants of the old
Lifeboat Station are interesting to see. Although the average
depth is only 6 metres (20 feet) there's plenty to see. Wrasse,
hermit crabs, bib and oysters as well as cuttlefish and anemones
can be seen on this dive. However there are strong currents and
it's advisable to dive at slack water.
Mixon Hole is approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) from
the Lifeboat Station and makes a nice drift dive. There's a descent
to the sea bed, 6 metres (20 feet) that has quite a lot of marine
life which gives way to a cliff that drops to 25 metres (82 feet).
Present here are cuttlefish, wrasse and
dogfish. However, beware of the fast currents, it's best
to dive on neaps at slack water.
City of London Wreck is located a few miles off
Shoreham. The wreck is lying in 27 metres (88 feet) of water and
is surrounded by lots of fish and sponges. The broilers are clearly
visible and the wreckage is home to ballan wrasse, bib, poor cod
and red mullet.
The Gascony went down in 1918 after hitting a
mine. She had a cargo of charcoal, guns and hay. The Gascony is
said to have sunk upside down but her bow is now almost upright.
Lying at a depth of about 30 metres (98 feet) she provides shelter
for congers and lobsters.
Miown Wreck is also referred to as the cement
wreck locally. Lying in about 12 metres (39 feet) at high tide
she is located just off Shoreham. She sunk in 1914 in a gale with
her cargo of cement. The cement can still be seen today and it
has solidified forming rock like lumps. Her broiler is visible
and the fish life abundant. In summer shoals of bib can be seen.
The Pine an armoured trawler went down in 1944
after being hit by a torpedo. Although the werck is well broken
up and lying in a shallow 10 metres (33 feet) of water she still
makes a nice dive.
Shirala sunk in July 1918 after she was struck
by a torpedo. She was loaded with a cargo of wine, vehicle spare
parts, ivory and marmelade on her way to India. Located close
to East Beach she lies in about 24 metres (78 feet) of water and
has a lot of varied marine life.
There are many other wrecks here like the
Indiana Wreck which sunk in 1901 following a
collision with another ship in foggy weather, the HMS Northcoates,
a navy trawler that was requisitioned during World War II for
mine sweeeping and which sank in 1944 and
City of Watrford Wreck which is very popular
and lies almost 10 miles (16 km) off Brighton. She's still farly
intact. She collided with a
Greek ship in foggy weather in 1949 causing her
to sink. She has plenty of fish life around her like pollack,
wrasse , conger eels and edible crabs. Anemonos and dead man's
fingers are also abundant.