We took Stingray and several divers to the ss Volnay wreck today. It was nice a flat, the sun shone and there was a light gentle breeze. The divers all came up a little excited, most had some crockery they found on the wreck. On closer inspection, most was dishwasher safe 🙂 Which is quite strange as the Volnay sank 100 years ago.
So, either someone had been littering, or more than likely, it was dropped there to wind up divers.
Departing from Mylor Yacht Harbour, near Falmouth, at 10:00, the boat heads south. Arriving at our first site, the steam ship (ss) Volnay Wreck (22m high water springs, 17m low water springs) around 10:30. The wreck was a WWI merchant vessel, it hit a mine in 1917, then attempted to beach at Porthallow but foundered. A shot line will be dropped on the shallowest part of the wreck, the ships boilers. The top of the boilers are around 4m off of the seabed, making the top as shallow as 13m at low water. read more →
SS Volnay was a 4,610grt, 285ft long defensively-armed British Merchant Ship. On the 14th December 1917 when on route from Montreal for Plymouth she hit a mine when 2 miles E by S from the Manacles, Cornwall. Owned by Gow, Harrison & Co, Glasgow. It tried to beach itself at Porthallow but didn’t make it and it sank in 22m. The general cargo of tinned meat, butter, jam, coffee, cigarettes, peanuts, potato crisps & timber has all disappeared, but the anti-personnel shells are still to be found. The lead shot from the shells are prolific around the site. read more →
Another Friday night dive out of Falmouth on Bay Marine’s Redeemer. We go out every Friday until it gets too dark or interest falls away by the locals. We meet at Customs House Quay at Falmouth and the boat leaves at 6pm sharp.
There were a couple of different faces on the boat, which filled the boat to it’s capacity of 12, otherwise it was the usual suspects. Nev was missing, he is sunning himself in Sharm El Sheik, and would miss the today’s dive.
Due to the timing of the tide dive sites were limited, the Volnay was the choice that Shaun made. Recently a few anti-personnel shells had been recovered and hopes were to find some more. We headed out on flat seas and were soon at the Volnay’s boilers. We all kitted up and jumped in the water. I was going to follow a couple of the divers who had recovered shells on a previous visit, to see what they would find, and also give me an idea of the shells location.
When I entered the water the shell hunters had already descended, all I had to do was follow the trail of flowing silt to find them. They were hard at work trying to relieve the Volnay of a couple more pieces of its cargo. I poked around and only managed to find some of the anti-personnel heads, steel tubes full of 10mm (3/8″) diameter lead shot. They would have also had timing heads on them, but these are now few and far between. The lead shot lays strewn across the wreck, probably from the shells exploding when they dynamited the wreck on two separate occasions to clear it, and is usually collected by every diver who visits the Volnay.
There have been several salvers of various kinds just lifting the lead shot, once there was a boat there for 3 days, lifting the shot. It was estimated that 15 tons had been recovered over the 3 days. At current prices that’s nearly £15,000 worth!
After the others left I carried on looking around, the vis was probably the normal 4 to 5 metres, except around the area where they had been digging. It is a very silty area.
I managed to find the shotline and headed up after 58 minutes. I never looked up as I never expected anyone else around, until I felt a tap on the shoulder, Sharky was doing his stops. He had clocked up 10 minutes deco on air and was just finishing his stops, luckily I was on nitrox and only had 4 minutes of stops to do.