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Introducing Mark Milburn’s Cornish Wreck Ramblings



In a new ongoing series on, Mark Milburn of Atlantic Scuba in Falmouth investigates the many shipwrecks that can be found around the UK’s Cornish coastline…

How many wrecks are there around Cornwall?

I quite often get asked that question, and it’s one that has no simple answer. The Manacles, an area of 4 square miles, has fifty known wrecks. That’s fifty wrecks in four miles! Cornwall has hundreds of miles of coastline. Almost every day, previously unknown wrecks come to light. Just a week ago we found an old document that refers to thirty four wrecks on three miles of coastline that sank over a period of just sixty years.

Three of these were previously known, whilst thirty one of them were not. Today, I was talking to a retired dive boat skipper about an old cannon site. I had been told of the site by a diver who did a dive there many years ago. He confirmed that he saw cannons there. He also said there was another site in the shallows, covered in kelp. He then told me of a wooden ship further off in forty five metres.

Avonmore wreck

During random dives, I have seen many a wreck related item. Keel or trim weights laying on the sea bed, outlines of wrecks in the sand, or even an engine. Whenever we have researched what the items may have been from, sometimes we have drawn a blank.

Books like Richard and Bridget Larn’s “Shipwrecks Index of the British Isles Vol 1” contains thousands of ships that have been wrecked around Cornwall. Historic England started with this Index and have built on it. They have stated that if they published their current database, in the same style as the original but with all the new wrecks listed, each original volume would be replaced by twenty new volumes. Historic England estimate their list as being around 34,000 wrecks around the UK. But they think there are many more.

Brisons Brig wreck

Helston museum has two oil paintings of ships being wrecked with rescuers on the shore. These wrecks are not listed in an index anywhere, yet someone painted them while it happened. Old Church records around Cornwall have a lot of references of bodies washing ashore, sometimes every day for several days. These were more than likely wreck related, ships that foundered out of sight of anyone and were smashed before anyone found them.

So when someone asks me how many wrecks are there around Cornwall, I reply “More than I could dive in a lifetime.”

Join us next week for Part 1 of Mark Milburn’s Cornish Wreck Ramblings!

Find out more about Mark and Atlantic Scuba at

Mark Milburn is the owner of Atlantic Scuba in Falmouth, Cornwall, England, and is an SDI/TDI/NAS/RYA Instructor and a Commercial Boat Skipper. Although often referred to as a maritime archaeologist, he prefers to call himself a wreck hunter. Find out more about Mark and Atlantic Scuba by visiting

Dive Training Blogs

Deptherapy returns to its Roots – Part 1



Over the next seven days, join Richard Cullen from Deptherapy as we publish a Blog about the charity’s recent expedition to Roots Red Sea, El Quseir, Egypt.

Deptherapy made the very brave decision to book an expedition to our home in Egypt as soon as Roots Red Sea received their certificate from the Egyptian Authorities that the camp and dive centre was COVID secure. Roots is one of very few resorts to receive a certificate from the Egyptian Government.

We arrived in Roots the day after they re-opened.

Getting together an expedition was a major task. Very few Approved Medical Examiners’ of Divers or Dive Referees are conducting consultations at the moment. Availability of beneficiaries and the requirement to quarantine on return from Egypt affected the number of beneficiaries available.

There was also a requirement to pass a COVID PCR virus test within 72 hours of travelling.

We had decided on a small expedition and on the day of travel we had six flying to Egypt.  Unfortunately, Chris Middleton had to drop out the day before we travelled after emergency wisdom tooth surgery.

Our group comprised of Richard Cullen, Michael Hawley, Tom Oates, Tom Swarbrick, Keiron Bradbury and Corey Goodson.  Keiron was undertaking his RAID Master Rescue Course and, as it turned out, Corey was undertaking the RAID Open Water 20 course.

A deserted Gatwick Airport at 0900 on 10 October

Our outbound flight was before midday on Saturday 10 October and I must admit we were all shocked at how deserted was.  Checking in with easyJet took minutes and when we boarded the plane, we found it less than half full.

Corey is a paraplegic since a car accident two years ago while he was training prior to joining the Royal Anglian Regiment.  Corey has no sensation below the waist and is unable to use his legs.  The cabin crew on our flight were quite amazed to see the two Toms and Michael lift him from his wheelchair and place him in his seat for the flight.

Mask protocols were strictly observed by the team, the flight was uneventful, and the easyJet Cabin Crew superb. We also took a digital thermometer to check temperatures prior to flying.

Corey having a pre-flight temperature check

Hurghada Airport was very quiet and we moved through Immigration and collected our baggage in very quick time.

Two things to note:  If you are travelling to Hurghada you need to complete a COVID declaration for the Egyptian Authorities. If not, you have to fill out the rather lengthy form when you arrive.  You can undertake a COVID test on arrival at Hurghada Airport but the queues are long.  It costs much less than the tests we had done in the UK – BUT – you are required to be quarantined at your hotel until the test result comes through.  This means two days with no access to resort facilities.  If the test comes back as positive you have at least two weeks being confined to your room.

COVID guidelines

Transport to Roots was, as ever, on hand and we were soon at the camp and being briefed about the COVID arrangements.  A lot of work has been put in place to make Roots COVID compliant – and all at considerable expense.

None of the usual hugs with the Roots team and you have your temperature checked every morning and every time you return from the dive centre.  Your dive kit is sterilised every night ready for the next day’s diving.

Sterilised Dive Kit

We all felt very COVID secure.

Check back for tomorrow’s Blog and our first day diving…

Find out more about the work of Deptherapy and Deptherapy Education at

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And the winner of our TUSA Paragon S Mask competition is…



We’d like to say a big thank you to all of you who entered our competition to win a TUSA Paragon S Mask from our good friends at CPS Partnership!

As usual, lots of you entered… but there can, of course, be only one winner!

And that winner is…

  • Lee Evans from the UK.

Congratulations Lee – your prize will be on its way to you soon!

Not a winner this time? Don’t worry – there are plenty of other competitions running on right now. To see what other awesome prizes you could be in with a chance of winning, click here!

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