Wreck Appreciation Course
Many people learn to dive for a variety of different reasons. However, a great number of people learn to dive because they are interested in underwater exploration and in particular Wreck Diving. There are many different attractions of diving on wrecks. Shipwrecks make ideal artificial reefs where marine life can thrive and are abundant. Wrecks also make great opportunities for photo shoots, making them very attractive to Photographer and Videographers. But one of the mean reasons that divers like to diver on wrecks is because of their historical values. From the date that a ship sunk below the surface, they become a time capsule until the day they are discovered. Finding an historical wreck takes a lot of work but is also a great achieved once found. As divers, finding undiscovered wrecks is well within our capability with the right knowledge and training. One memorable find was in 1966, where divers from BSAC Southsea dive branch, based in the UK, found an obscure mark on a hydrographic sea chart. After some four years later, and after further research and investigation, they found the wreck of the Mary Rose galleon at this site. The Mary Rose was constructed in 1510, which made it a significance find.
The course is design to give the diver relevant information and techniques in order to research potential wreck sites and methods used to locate them. The course looks at identifying wrecks using a range of different methods, from Sea Charts and markings, using transits or by using electronic locating equipment. Other areas covered in this course are the different types of ship constructions, wreck surveying and marine life to be found on wrecks and their habitation on the wreck
The course duration is 2 – days
This course is recognised by the ‘’Nautical Archaeology Society” (NAS) and is accreditation credits can be awarded towards the NAS part - 3 certification (see their website for more details) www.nauticalarchaeologysociety.org
There are 5 theory lessons in total. Lesson 1 starts with the different attractions of wreck diving. Wreck exploration, photographic opportunities, artificial reef structure as well as the marine life living on the wreck etc. We then move on to how to locate wrecks by means of various medias and resources, identifying wrecks from sea charts and through electronic wreck location devices.
Lesson 2 looks at the Ship construction and the layout of a wreck. Knowing where various wreck components are will give you an idea of where you are on the wreck; even if the wreck is completely broken up, e.g. finding the ships boilers means that you are probably near the engine room. Finding the anchor would suggest that you are near the bow of the ship etc.
In lesson 3, we take a look at the different marine life that is commonly found on wrecks. We look at different habitats to be found around the wreck, where you are likely to find certain marine life. Diving on wrecks sometimes needs special techniques and equipment. In order to find our way back to the ascent line we may need to use distance lines or pilotage, as the use of a compass to navigate yourself around the wreck would be ineffective due to the magnetic influence of the steel wreck construction on your compass.
Lesson 4 takes a look at how to successfully navigate yourself around the wreck.