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Mark Milburn’s Cornish Wreck Ramblings, Part 11: The Burnside

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Mark Milburn’s Cornish Wreck Ramblings are back! This week: The mystery of the Burnside…

Locally the name “Burnside”, has caused arguments in families and cost some people 1000’s of hours and pound notes. So what is “Burnside”?

The Burnside was a wooden steamship, designed by Theodore E. Ferris – USSB design #1001, a 82m long, coal-fired, triple expansion engined ship of 3,500 tons. At some time just after the great war, the Burnside was heading to the UK.

The story from there is a little muddled. It was possibly carrying coal or empty brass shell cases, no one knows for sure. It caught fire, somewhere near Falmouth and was abandoned, turning over and expelling its cargo. As the ship turned over, it also extinguished the fire. A day or so later, it was seen still floating upside down, stuck somewhere in Gerrans Bay.

That location is unknown but most likely on the shallow Inner Bizzies pinnacles, which are only a few metres below the water at low tide, although a little way offshore. It was being held fast by either its masts or funnel. The Navy were called in to get rid of it and it took them two weeks! Why did it take so long? What exactly happened?

The ship is well known locally amongst salvagers and wreck hunters. Many have looked in vain, hoping to get a ‘hit’ from the engines and boilers with a magnetometer. No one has found it, or any remains. Several stories have come to light… Some say it is on the Manacles; there is a lone triple expansion engine there, the wood rotted away whilst the boilers disappeared. There is a lone boiler off Porthoustock, are they related? Near Nare Point there is another lone boiler, thought to have ended up there after some violent explosion, some believe it is from the Burnside. If it is, where is the other boiler and the engine if the boiler was from the Burnside?

A local newspaper of the time reported that the bow of the Burnside washed up on a local beach during the time the Navy were there. This was probably after an attempt to blow the ship to pieces to sink it. Another newspaper report stated that it was then towed further out to sea and shot at by the Airforce as well as the Navy, to help break it up and sink it. This would reduce the ships’ timbers into smaller fragments until the weight of the boilers and engine caused it to sink. This may well explain why no one has ever found the Burnside; it may now rest in deep waters, the wood rotted or eaten away, leaving very little left for anyone to find.

For now, the whereabouts of the Burnside shall remain a mystery. Just another mystery from around the Cornish coast.


Find out more about Mark and Atlantic Scuba at www.atlanticscuba.co.uk

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 www.atlanticscuba.co.uk.

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Emperor Divers recognises the 8th and final Covid Diver Hero to win a liveaboard trip

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In February Emperor Divers launched the Covid Diver Heroes initiative, aiming to recognise 8 people who have stepped up in the pandemic with free liveaboard trips in the Maldives and the Red Sea. They received hundreds of nominations and left it up to a varied panel of loyal staff to sift through the entries. All inspired, many amazed and some brought tears. What is clear is that divers are awesome, and it came as no surprise that within the international underwater community there were so many selfless, empathetic heroes.

The Emperor Divers’ panel have made the final choice for the 8th liveaboard prize, this time for a trip of a lifetime in The Maldives. Nominated by his cousin, Alex Chan, this is his story:

“There will be no greater reward for this selfless cousin of mine to win a liveaboard trip to the Maldives where he can find solace in SCUBA diving, the holiday activity he enjoys most. I have not seen him physically for more than a year nor did his parents because he has isolated himself for fears of inadvertently bringing the virus home.
I, Alex, nominate KK Tan, 38, a doctor from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for his tireless efforts as a supporting role to the Frontliners during this time of pandemic. By day, he takes up the administrative role to procure quality medical equipment and ensure proper distribution to health facilities throughout the country an uphill task in view of the rising number of cases in my country. By night, he would return to his former hospital to help out with the outpatient cases there.  If not working on weekends, he would visit a couple of old folks home to provide encouragement, free medical consultations as well as deliver medications where able. He tells me always “Since I cannot go diving in the sea, I might as well dive in the sea of COVID19. There are many beautiful things to see here too.”

Alex has been in contact with KK and said: “He was ecstatic! Thank you for selecting my nominee for the final winner for the liveaboard. I’m sure it will be a beautiful light for him at the end of the tunnel.”

As a roundup, here is the full list of winners who will enter the Covid Diver Heroes Hall of Fame:

  • Deborah Brabham, UK
  • Noam Har-Tzvi, Israel
  • Megumi Gotada, Germany
  • Phuong Cao, USA
  • Ingrid Stubelius, Sweden
  • Lily Lancaster, UK
  • Susana Garcia, Spain
  • KK Tan, Malaysia.

The Emperor Divers Team have even been lucky enough to meet Susana Garcia already, she has just been out on a liveaboard trip in the Red Sea and we were able to give her a trophy as well as spend time with one of our Heroes.

Questions and enquiries to heroes@emperordivers.com

www.emperordivers.com

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Diving with… Hassan Samir, Fuvahmulah Scuba Club, Maldives

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In this ongoing series, we speak to the people who run dive centres, resorts and liveaboards from around the world about their businesses and the diving they have to offer…


What is your name?

Hassan Samir

What is the name of your business?

Fuvahmulah Scuba Club

What is your role within the business?

Owner

How long has the business operated for?

We operate 4 dive centres in different locations in Maldives (Cocoon Maldives, Drift Thelu Veligaa,
South Ari Dive). Fuvahmulah scuba club is a new dive center in Fuvahmulah.

How long have you dived for, and what qualification are you?

I am the owner of the dive centre, I am an Advanced Open Water Diver and I started diving in the past
1 year only. But our Dive instructors are all qualified and have more 10 years’ experience in the diving
industry.

What is your favorite type of diving?

My favourite dives are deep dives.

If you could tell people one thing about your business (or maybe more!) to make them want to visit you what would it be?

The Tiger shark diving in Fuvahmulah is the most exciting dive any diver could have. It is 100%
guaranteed to see the tiger sharks from a very close distance. Also, Fuvahmulah Island treasure
sharks, and Oceanic Manta and Hammerheads are spotted often and it makes diving with us special.

What is your favorite dive in your location and why?

My favourite dives are Tiger Shark diving and Oceanic Manta diving.

What types of diving are available in your location?

Night diving; Deep diving; Open water diving; Drift Diving; Rescue diving.

What do you find most rewarding about your current role?

Meeting divers and sharing experiences with them.

What is your favorite underwater creature?

Oceanic Manta

Are there any exciting changes / developments coming up in the near future?

A new dive boat will be here in next 3 months.

As a center what is the biggest problem you face at the moment?

In Fuvahmulah everything is well organized and all the staff are given specific tasks. Each and every
team member does their job very well. We do not have any problem in organizing the dives for our guests. Yes! But the island has 7 Dive centres and each dive centre have specific time schedule for diving with tiger sharks. So we also as a dive centre get limited time to dive with tiger sharks.

Is your center involved in any environmental work?

Not at the moment.

How do you see the SCUBA / Freediving / snorkeling industry overall? What changes would you make?

As a diver I would say we have a passion for underwater and we must keep the underwater clean
and neat always. Not dumping any type of plastic in to the sea even if it a very small thing (example: cigarette butts)

What would you say to our visitors to promote the diving you have to offer?

We are a team of professionals; we will ensure you have a safe and memorable diving holiday in
Fuvahmulah.

Where can our visitors find out more about your business?

You can visit our website by clicking here.

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Competitions

Explore the amazing triangle of Red Sea Reefs - The Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone on board the brand new liveaboard Big Blue.  With an option to add on a week at Roots Red Sea before or after. 

Strong currents and deep blue water are the catalysts that bring the pelagic species flocking to these reefs. The reefs themselves provide exquisite homes for a multitude of marine life.  The wafting soft corals are adorned with thousands of colourful fish. The gorgonian fans and hard corals provide magnificent back drops, all being patrolled by the reef’s predatory species.

£1475 per person based on double occupancy.  Soft all inclusive board basis, buffet meals with snacks, tea and coffee always available.  Add a week on at Roots Red Sea Resort before or after the liveaboard for just £725pp.  Flights and transfers are included.  See our brochure linked above for the full itinerary.

This trip will be hosted by The Scuba Place.  Come Dive with Us!

Call 020 3515 9955 or email john@thescubaplace.co.uk

www.thescubaplace.co.uk

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