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The Iron Pier, Isle of Man dive site - courtesy of Mann Scuba Divers
Tompot blenny at the Iron Pier, Isle of Man dive site - courtesy of Mann Scuba Divers

Isle of Man Scuba Diving

Reader Reviews:

Dive Site: The Iron Pier and the Dolphin

Location: Ramsey, Isle of Man

Description: Pier dive

Depth: 7 metres average (23 feet), 14 metres max (46 feet)

Visibility: Up to 10 metres (30 feet)

Rating: ***

The Iron Pier runs out from Ramsey Beach, on the north of the Island, with the Dolphin (a concrete structure, not the mammal) detached at the end, with a max depth of about 14m at high tide. Following along the base of the Iron Pier you'll find all loads of marine life as it all congregates under the relatively safe shelter of the pier. Crabs, lobsters and scallops are plentiful.

At the end of the pier, you can head north for a few minutes until you hit the Dolphin. Much of the structure has collapsed which makes it a fantastic dive with loads of nooks and crannies to poke your head under. Again, loads of marine life makes this home with at least four resident conger eels, loads of lobsters and incredibly charismatic tompot blennies. The tompot blennies, which can be seen poking their heads out of the cracks and crevices, are incredibly inquisitive fish and often pop out to take a closer look at the passing diver.

If you're good on your air, you can do the whole of the Iron Pier and the Dolphin in one shore dive with easy access from Ramsey Beach. You'd have to do this shore dive at low tide, be quite fit (it's a long swim!) and give yourself at least 90 minutes for the round-trip. There can be some boat traffic around the Dolphin, so always use a surface marker and stick close to the structures when ascending. If diving from the shore, always remember it's a long swim back to the beach.

Rob Bathgate

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