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Divers to Conduct Photographic & 3D Photogrammetry Survey of HMS Hampshire

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HMS Hampshire

It has been announced this week that the United Kingdom (UK) Ministry of Defence (MoD) has granted a team of specialist international divers a licence to undertake a photographic and 3D imaging survey of the shipwreck HMS Hampshire.

The 10,850-ton armoured cruiser HMS Hampshire departed Scapa Flow in Orkney on 5 June 1916 on a voyage around the north cape of Norway to the port of Archangel in northern Russia. She was carrying Lord Kitchener and his staff to Russia to discuss mutual war aims and strategy. As she struggled up the west coast of Orkney in a severe gale, approximately one and a half miles off Marwick Head she struck a mine laid by the German Submarine U-75 a week before on 29 May – and quickly sank. Of the 749 people aboard, only 12 managed to reach the shore alive; Lord Kitchener and his staff were lost.

Today HMS Hampshire lies at a depth of approximately 70m (230ft) near the North West tip of Orkney in an exposed area open to North Atlantic storms and strong tidal flows. The location makes diving HMS Hampshire a challenging undertaking.

Expedition Leader Rod Macdonald, a shipwreck explorer and internationally renowned diving author explains:

“The story of HMS Hampshire is of historical importance and her loss forms an important element of the WWI naval story. In recognition of this, the expedition has been designated a ‘flagged expedition’ by the prestigious Explorers Club. HMS Hampshire is a protected wreck under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986 and no diving is permitted on the site except under licence from the Ministry of Defence. Diving will be conducted from the new purpose built dive vessel MV Huskyan, based in Stromness, Orkney. With such a strong local connection, as a dive team we are very sensitive to the historical importance of this wreck and very aware of the strict terms of the MoD licence granted to us, which prevent intrusive activity. The expedition objective is to undertake a detailed survey of the shipwreck, to record it using stills and video photography using the latest underwater photogrammetry techniques.  We have assembled an international team of deep shipwreck imaging specialists who have the ability, experience and technology required to dive and record the condition of the wreck in great detail. This information will be used to compile a detailed written and visual survey report, which will be made available to the MoD, local museums in Orkney and to Historic Scotland.

“As we commemorate WWI and in particular the 100 year anniversary of her sinking, we hope that this survey data will add to our historic knowledge of this era of warship construction and help maintain the memory of HMS Hampshire and the sacrifice made by her crew”.

To find out more about HMS Hampshire, visit www.hmshampshire.co.uk.

To find out more about MV Huskyan, visit www.huskyan.com.

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Get moving with the new RAID DPV training programs

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The thrill of speeding through the water behind a diver propulsion vehicle (DPV) is an experience that really gets the blood racing. Using a DPV provides divers both immense fun and the means to achieve goals that would be impossible without their use.

RAID is proud to announce the new two-tier DPV training program with certifications for DPV and Advanced DPV.

Why DPV and why now?
Recreational and technical divers are using DPVs to access sites that would be difficult to reach and explore using traditional propulsion methods; to help propel large amounts of heavy equipment; to increase the safety of dives in areas of strong current; or just for the pure exhilaration of shooting through the water at speed and performing underwater acrobatics.

By extending your capabilities and extending your range, using a DPV opens new vistas for exploration and fun.

DPV
This certification option is aimed at the recreational diver who wishes to learn how to use a DPV to enhance their diving by using mainly natural navigation.

Advanced DPV
This certification option is available to anyone who is familiar with longhose configuration, has logged a minimum of 20 dives and is certified as Navigation specialty divers.

This certification option is aimed at the slightly more experienced diver with preexisting navigational training and diving on a single, twin or sidemount setup with a longhose. Although this level is slightly more challenging, the more advanced navigation exercises provide an important base for more complex types of DPV diving within a team.

PREREQUISITES
You must:

  • Be a minimum of 12 years old.
  • Be certified as RAID Open Water 20, Junior Open Water or equivalent.

Just visit www.diveRAID.com to put some extra dash into your dives.

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Marine Life & Conservation

Beers raise cash for ocean clean-up

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The Driftwood Spars Brewery, a pioneering microbrewery based on the North Cornwall coast, is donating a percentage of all profits from its Cove range of beers to Fathoms Free, a certified charity which actively cleans the ocean around the Cornish peninsula.

Each purchase of the small-batch, craft beers – there are four different canned beers in the Cove range – will help generate funds to purchase a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and fund retrieval dives; every brew will raise the equivalent cost of a fully-funded dive. 

Fathoms Free is a Cornwall-based charity whose day-to-day mission involves dives from their fast-response specialist vessel to recover ghost fishing gear; abandoned nets, pots, angling equipment and other plastic causes severe damage to the marine environment and the death of countless seabirds, seals, dolphins and other sea life.

The campaign to raise funds for an ROV is a new initiative which will take the clean-up work to a new level; the highly manoeuvrable underwater vehicle will be used to scour the seabed, harbours and remote parts of the coastline for abandoned fishing gear and other marine litter.

Project Manager Natallia Paliakova from Fathoms Free said: “Apart from helping us locate ghost gear underwater, the ROV will also be capable of recording underwater video which is always great for raising awareness about marine pollution issues.”

She added: “We are really excited to be partnering with The Driftwood Spars Brewery and appreciate the proactive support of Mike and his team in bringing the purchase of an ROV a step closer to reality.”

Head Brewer Mike Mason personally approached the charity after their work was featured on the BBC 2 documentary, ‘Cornwall with Simon Reeve’.    

He said: “As a keen surfer I am only too aware of the problem of marine litter and had heard about Fathoms Free, but seeing them in action prompted me to find a way of contributing. The scale of the challenge is scary, but the determination of organisations like Fathoms Free is inspiring.”

Photo by Beagle Media Ltd

Photo by Beagle Media Ltd

The Driftwood Spars Brewery was founded in 2000 in Trevaunance Cove, St Agnes; the microbrewery is just a few steps away from it’s co-joined brewpub, The Driftwood Spars; both pub and brewery are well-regarded far beyond the Cornish cove they call home. 

You can hear the waves and taste the salt on the air from the door of both brewery and pub, and the rough seas along the rugged North coast often throw up discarded nets and other detritus; Louise Treseder, Landlady of The Driftwood Spars and a keen sea swimmer, often collects washed up ghost gear on her daily beach excursions.     

Louise commented: “This is a great partnership to support a cause close to our hearts – I know the money we raise will have a positive and lasting impact. The Cove range was inspired by our unique surroundings and the artwork – by local artist Jago Silver – reflects that. Now donations from each purchase will contribute towards the vital ocean clean-up taking place right on our doorstep.”

The Cove range can currently be purchased online here, and is available in good independent bottle shops in Cornwall.

To find out more about Fathoms Free visit their website here.

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