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Scuba Diving South Coast England, UK, Europe

Dive Site: Betsy Anna

Location: 50°36.979N; 001°49.964W, near Swanage

Description: 808 ton collier

Depth: 24 metres (79 feet)

Visibility: 3 metres (9 feet)

Rating: ***

The Betsy Anna was an 808 ton collier, built in 1892. She sank in August 1926 when she ran into fog off of Devon and hit the rocks at Prawle Point. She was sold by her owners to salvagers who blocked up the holes in her hull and floated her off at high tide. On October 11th she was towed towards Cowes on the Isle of Wight in order to be fully repaired, but sank when gale force winds snapped her towline.

I dived the Betsy Anna in the first week of May and it was very, very dark. The vis was actually ok but there was just no light getting down to the wreck. We only had small torches with us so it made it a little difficult working out where we were on the wreck in the pitch black. Having said that, we still saw a few conger, lobsters, an edible crab and a few wrasse. We spent most of our time around the boilers, which are very close to one another. There is some superstructure to the wreck but most of your dive will be done at 24m.

I could imagine this being a nice dive later on in the summer, but if you're doing it early on make sure you bring a beefy torch! Also, currents are strong in the area so diving on slack is essential.

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