Connect with us


New 3D tour of Holland 5 submarine wreck announced



For the first time, non-divers can explore the protected historic wreck site of the Holland No.5 Submarine, which lies nine miles off the Sussex coast. She is one of the first submarines to be accepted into the Royal Navy in 1902 and carried one of the earliest periscopes. This new dive trail has been commissioned by Historic England and developed by the Nautical Archaeology Society.

Of the 53 protected wreck sites off England, there are currently five that you can access via a protected wreck dive trail. For those who prefer to stay dry, there are now also virtual tours of some of these fascinating historic wrecks.

The very nature of maritime archaeology, lying at the bottom of the seabed in an area only accessible by those with the right training and equipment, has meant that only a small number of people have been able to explore protected wreck sites. Over recent years, Historic England has commissioned 13 virtual dive trails on five of these sites so that everyone can tour a historic shipwreck without getting wet. The virtual trails use new technologies such as multi-image photogrammetric recording, 3D printing of geophysical survey data and virtual reality and augmented reality techniques.

These techniques allow viewers to see a clear 3D image of a site. Not only do they bring maritime archaeology to life for the non-diver, they’re a lot easier to interpret than more traditional geophysical survey techniques or photographs taken in poor visibility.

The Holland No.5 Submarine Virtual Dive

The Holland No.5 Submarine was designated under the Protection of Wrecks Act (1973) in 1995. The site was discovered by luck by Kent based diver Gerry Jowd and his friends who just happen to drive their dive boat over the wreck and notice a lump on their echo-sounder. The wreck was protected in 2005. The site is dived every year by the Nautical Archaeology Society.

The Holland No.5 submarine is a remarkable piece of our naval heritage. She was the fifth of the experimental Holland class submarines to be launched on 10 June 1902, at a cost of £35,000. She was built by Vickers, Sons and Maxim in Barrow-in-Furness, under licence from Holland Torpedo Boat Company and to a design by John Phillip Holland. She was launched one month ahead of Holland 6 (which was later designated A1). The British Holland class was an extension of the design used on USS Holland. She was equipped with one of the first periscopes; at the time of her launch, no other submarines in the Royal Navy or the United States Navy were so equipped. It was of British design, which used a ball and socket joint on the hull to raise and lower the scope. She was constructed of “s” grade steel, which at the time of her construction was only used on this class of submarine and the Forth Bridge. She utilised a single hull design, and so her pressure hull contained her fuel tanks, ballast and other internal workings. She was limited to a maximum depth of 100 feet (30m). Today the submarine is upright in 32m depth and in amazing state of preservation.

We have been diving on the Holland No.5 Submarine since 2010 and have spent hours underwater recording the condition of the amazing wreck,” advises Mark Beattie-Edwards, NAS Chief Executive Officer and a current licensee of the wreck. “The development of the virtual dive this year means we can now share the experience of diving the wreck with the rest of the world, including the non-diving public. We hope it can raise awareness and interest in this amazing piece of underwater cultural heritage”.

Alison James, Maritime Archaeologist at Historic England said: “We are very proud of our virtual dive trails that allow people to experience protected wreck sites without getting wet. The new trail on the Holland 5 is fascinating and we hope people enjoy a virtual dive on this site.”

A series of videos have been produced and are available. You can find them all by clicking here.

To visit the virtual dive click here.

For more information on the Nautical Archaeology Society see:
Twitter: @NautArchSoc


Frontline workers honoured with free dive trip to Yap



The remote island of Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia is among the few places in the world that remains free of Covid-19 thanks to its ocean border and a strict travel ban that has kept its residents safe.

Nonetheless, Yap has been affected, too. As one of the world’s premier, award-winning destinations for divers, this paradisiacal location in the western Pacific Ocean has had no outside visitors to its rich shores and reef for nearly a year. But while there may be no virus, the island hasn’t been cut off from the economic impact experienced around the globe.

Manta Ray Bay Resort and Yap Divers by A. Tareg

That didn’t stop Bill Acker, CEO and founder of the Manta Ray Bay Resort and Yap Divers, from doing something, though.

Last March, soon after the island went into lockdown, Bill began to realize the effect of the virus on daily life beyond the island. “Yes, we are closed, have no divers, had to send our employees home and prepare for difficult times,” he said. “But we’re lucky in that we have, for the most part, avoided the human suffering and death this pandemic has caused.”

Thinking about the problems faced by his family business, they paled when he compared them to those endured by the healthcare workers who have been fighting selflessly around the clock for months on end for the well-being and lives of others.

“One evening, while checking the news online, I saw pictures of frontline workers who were tending to desperately ill and dying people when families and friends could not be with their loved ones. It was heartbreaking,” he added.

The next day, a meeting was held with the resort’s staff and Bill invited suggestions for ways they could do something to honor healthcare workers. The result was the idea to award twenty divers who are working on the frontline to save other’s lives during this pandemic while risking their own, with a free week at the resort.

Manta ray, Manta birostris, gliding over a cleaning station in M’il Channel, Yap, Micronesia by David Fleetham

Divers around the world who had been guests at Manta Ray Bay in the past were invited to submit the names of candidates for the award by December 31, 2020. “We received nominations for 126 individuals from as far away as Germany, the U.S., Australia and Canada,” he said. “It was not easy choosing the winners but our committee of staff members took on the job and selected the 20 finalists.”

“While trying to choose the people to reward for their hard work during this Covid-19 crisis,” Bill added, “by reading the nominations we saw that every one of the nominees was doing things above and beyond the call of duty. Sadly, we don’t have the finances to offer over 100 free weeks in Yap, but we do want to recognize the contributions all of them are making to our world. So, we are offering the rest of the nominees a free week of diving in Yap which includes room, hotel tax, airport transfers, breakfast, diving and Wi-Fi.  The only requirement is that they travel with at least three other people and stay in two rooms or more.”

“We do not yet know when Yap will open its borders,” said Bill, “but when it does, we will welcome these important guests to Yap to relax and dive with the manta rays and the other beautiful denizens of the ocean surrounding our island home. They are the true heroes of this devastating, historic time and we look forward to honoring them with a well-deserved dive vacation.”

Watch out for our exclusive trip report from a healthcare worker from the UK who is one of the 20 to have been awarded this amazing dive trip!

For more information on Manta Ray Bay and Yap Divers visit their website by clicking here.

Continue Reading

Dive Training Blogs

Dream Dive Locker Build Out. Part I: Demolition (Watch Video)



It’s finally here! Time to start building the greatest dive locker the world has ever seen! Part I: Demolition! #dreamdivelocker

This is the first of a series of videos showing the evolution of building out my dream dive locker. My dream dive locker needs to be dive gear drying and storage, dry storage, workshop, office, editing suite, You Tube studio and classroom. That’s a lot of functions for a small space!

The first step is planning out the space and demolishing the laminate flooring. Then I taped up the walls to get a feel for the space. We have a lot of work to do!

But finally we will have a purpose built space to house all of our dive equipment! Subscribe to our channel to follow our progress! 

Thanks for watching, Team!


Subscribe here:

Continue Reading

E-Newsletter Sign up!


This is the perfect start to your 2021 diving season… and at an incredible lead-in price of just £885 per person.

Jump on board the latest addition to the Emperor fleet and enjoy diving the famous sites of the Red Sea with this fantastic special offer. This itinerary takes in the wonderful South & St Johns from 26 February – 05 March 2021.  

Subject to availability – limited flight seats at this price so don't delay!

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email to book your spot!

More Less

Instagram Feed

Facebook Feed

Facebook Pagelike Widget