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Scuba Diving in Skye, Scotland
Dive Site: SS Chadwick
Location: Neist Point, Isle of Skye, Scotland
Description: 1,463 ton British iron collier
Length: 77 metres (253 feet)
Depth: 20 metres (65 feet)
Visibility: 8 metres (25 feet)
The SS Chadwick was built by Swan Hunter of Newcastle in 1882. On July 5th 1892, en route to St Petersburg from the River Clyde and carrying a cargo of coal, she hit rocks near Neist Point due to fog. The bow was grounded and water came in through the forward holes. A passing mail steamer rescued the crew of 19 but there was no hope for the Chadwick. Before a tug could reach the vessel to pull it from the rocks, the boat sank to where she lies today.
Today the wreck lies in a number of sections at the bottom of a cliff. The top of the wreckage is in 15 metres, spread out to a depth of 25 metres. There are large sections still recognisable as a ship, but a lot of the wreckage is strewn across the seabed. The wreckage lies on a bearing of 330° away from the cliff. Slack is a must for this dive as strong currents rip across the wreck. We didn't find the wreck except for a plate of metal about 1 metre square and neither did most of the divers on the boat due to the current. Those that did find it were quickly ripped off. However, the reef around the wreck was very picturesque. We saw a beautiful example of a dogfish and the corals and anemones on the rocks were stunning.
Minke whales are a common site at the surface here and we did see them before we entered the water. They can't have been far from us during the dive, but we didn't see any whilst underwater despite keeping a keen eye out for them.
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