The previous weekend I had a group of divers on our boat, ‘Stingray’, who were diving on the wreck of the N.G. Petersen. The Petersen is a small wreck which carried a cargo of iron ore and sank after a collision with another ship. It’s all right as a dive but most of the boat structure has rotted away and apart from a few bits and pieces all you can really see is the cargo. There’s a lot of life though, congers, wrasse, bib, crabs, starfish and scallops. I had asked the last divers down to fold up the anchor. They hadn’t been down long when I realised the shot was moving, I hadn’t expected much current and the wind wasn’t that strong as to drag a folded anchor with 5m of chain attached. I went over to the shot and gave it a tug, it was free! I pulled it a bit more until I found the end loop free, broken away from the chain and anchor. The shackle must have come undone or broken.
I decided to wind up the divers telling them they had undone my shackle!
The following weekend no-one was up to diving, so I took my helpers out for a dive to find my anchor. Three jumped in, looked around for an hour, came up and told me it was a different wreck! No anchor.
I shouted out ‘AMATEURS’, then jumped in myself. Within 5 minutes of getting to the bottom I found the anchor and chain we lost last week. I took it to the new anchor and tied them together. HA! I thought, that’d make them work harder pulling 2 anchors and chains up. I swam around the wreck for a while then found out why they thought it was a different wreck. One end of the wreck had a huge gouge through it. It had made a mess of the wreck and opened up new places to have a rummage, I didn’t find anything though.
On my return to the surface I told them what I’d seen, it looked like one of the large ships that now anchor up in the bay had anchored close to the Petersen and when pulling its anchor up had dragged it through the wreckage. Nothing else in the area could do so much damage. The damage wasn’t there the previous week and must have been caused during the week. So I hadn’t been the only person with anchor problems, on the same wreck during the same week.
Always an interesting dive although there’s not a lot of wreck left, life is quite abundant.