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Scuba Diving in Baltimore, County Cork, Ireland, Europe
Dive Site: The Alondra
Location: 51°27'40"N; 09°20'44"W (Kedge Island, Baltimore, County Cork, Ireland, Europe)
Description: 2244 ton steamer
Length: 91 metres (299 feet)
Depth: 5 - 20 metres (16 - 65 feet)
Visibility: 5 - 10 metres (16 - 33 feet)
This is a very pretty dive site with an abundance of marine life. It starts with the boat dropping you in a narrow gap just wide enough for the boat to fit in that is located in the middle of Kedge Island. Just under the surface the current pulls you through a tight gulley that has kelp growing on either side of it. Once you reach the end of the gulley you will start to come across sections of the wreckage of the Alondra, strewn all over the rocks since it ran aground in fog in 1916. If you head slightly deeper you'll see the anchor winch under which prawns, crabs and leopard gobies shelter. Further on still are two large boilers, a few metres in height. In the first of the two boilers if you swim up to look on the top you will come across a large hole that comes out at the bottom near the seabed. If it has not already been disturbed by other divers you might find a conger eel in here along with more prawns. The dive ends by turning left away from the boilers to some rocky pinnacles that go from 20 metres to around 14 metres below the surface. They are covered in jewel anemones and are home to lots of crabs and make a good place to launch an SMB.
This is a really enjoyable dive with the only downside being all divers on a boat have to get into the water in quick succession so you will all end up travelling through the gulley and onto the wreck at the same time. The silt tends to get kicked up easily with the number of divers going through so unless you are one of the first people through the gulley try to hold back and wait for some space and the silt to settle.
view more Alondra photos
The following Times newspaper clip details the circumstances surrounding the sinking of the Alondra on 29 Dec 1916.
Wreck on the Irish Coast
Thirteen Lives Lost
A Lloyds message from Baltimore, Cork states that the British steamer Alondra went ashore on Kedge Rock on Friday and became a total loss. The decks were awash at high water, but it is thought that with fine weather some cargo might be saved.
Of the crew of 40, five got into a boat and were saved. Sixteen scrambled into another boat and 18 stood by the vessel for 16 hours, afterwards managing to reach Rocky Island. They hoisted signals of distress, and were rescued by a motor launch and taken to a trawler. The 16 men in the second lifeboat were capsized three times, and were thrown into the water and nine were drowned. The others were eventually rescued by a motor launch. The dead body of a man named Williams was also picked up at sea.
Twenty one survivors were landed at Queenstown on Saturday night, including the chief officer, who was injured and was taken to hospital.
The Alondra belongs to Yeoward Brothers, and is a steamer of 2244 tons, built as the Don Hugo at Port Glasgow in 1899.
The Times 1 Jan 1917 Page 5 Column D
I have dived this site a good couple and it ia a lovely comfortable dive. Great dive to get in while doing a couple more wreck dives in the same location. John from Baltimore Diving is the man to get in contact with.
Sean O'Sullivan, PADI Rescue diver | 19/05/2009
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