Gyllyngvase Beach is very similar to Swanpool Beach just a few hundred metres south, in both depth and variety. The south end is by far the easiest to dive. You can park on the road just behind Victoria Park and walk around the path onto the beach. Following the reef edge along eventually you can reach a depth of 12m (HW) and coarse sand with some different life than the normal reefs around. Between Swanpool and Gylly there is the remains of the wreck of the s.s. Ponus, the Ponus was a 5077 ton oil tanker that came ashore near Gyllyngvase Beach in November 1916. It’s cargo caught fire and kept Falmouth lit for three days and nights. It was heavily salvaged so very little remains but a little of 5077 tons is still quite a bit.
Today it is well broken and spread over a large area, parts get covered and uncovered in sand. Still a nice rummage dive with bits of brass appearing occasionally. The tallest point is only about 2m and that’s only 1.5m deep at low water, it is also home to a 4′ long Conger Eel. It’s a little bit of a swim to the wreck but easily do-able, it can be reached by swimming underwater all the way but if you want to spend time hunting wreckage then it’s better to surface swim some of the way.
Avoid in easterly or south easterly winds due to wave action. With boat traffic from the local sailing & paddle boarding schools and kayaking centres it is advisable to have a Surface Marker Buoy (SMB) following you at all times.
For details on how find the Ponus wreck, have a look at our free Falmouth Shore Diving guide .
built by Russell & Co Port Glasgow,
Yard No 492
Last Name: SS PONUS (1914)
Launched: Thursday, 08/05/1902
Ship Type: Cargo steamship
Ship’s Role: Case Oil Carrying
Tonnage: 5077 g
Length: 405 feet
Breadth: 52.2 feet
Anglo-American Oil Company, London.
1912 Tank Storage & Carrying Co.
1916 Standard Transportation Co, Hong Kong.
Status: Wrecked – 03/11/1916