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Stoney Cove diving overview

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36m - Deep Hydro Box, Stoney Cove Dive Site - courtesey of Rik Vercoe
36m - Deep Hydro Box, Stoney Cove Dive Site - courtesey of Rik Vercoe

Diving Stoney Cove, England Inland Dive Site

Reader Reviews:

Dive Site: 36m - Deep Hydro Box

Depth: 34 to 36 metres (108 feet)

Rating: See Stoney Cove overview

Location: The deep Hydro Box (at the time of writing) is easy to find due to the large red marker buoy which marks it from the surface. A 5 minute surface swim from the Bus Stop and the marker buoy shot line can be used to descend to / ascend from the Hydro Box.

If you don't fancy a surface swim then from the Bus Stop entry take a 275 degree bearing and expect around a 5 minute slow swim. From the Slipway entry take a 285 degree bearing and expect a 10 - 12 minute swim.

The Hydro Box is often the starting point for a dive due to its depth, with divers visiting other attractions in the latter part of their dive. From the deep Hydro Box a 265 degree bearing will take you too the Cessna Plane on the west side of Stoney Cove and from here a 230 degree bearing will take you to the wooden Cabin Cruiser. When leaving the Hydro Box and to conserve air it is advisable to ascend the shot line to 15m and then make an open water swim on the 365 bearing to the Cessna Plane (10 minute swim) rather than swim over the barren bottom at 30 metres plus depth.

If depth is your aim a 200 degree bearing at 36 metres will take you a short distance (5 minutes) to the deep Mini, also at 36 metres, which is little more than a shell on its side.

Alternatively from the deep Hydro-box you can ensure you pass the BOP by taking an 80 degree bearing or if you've been to deep Mini then return on a 350 degree bearing. Once at the BOP it's a 155 degree bearing to the bus, or a 120 degree route to the 20 metre hydro-box, or a 105 degree bearing to the Viscount Cockpit which is just south of the Bus Stop exit point.

History & Description: The deep Hydro Box is little more than an upturned metal cube. There is a circular entrance in the top section with a 12 inch flange which protrudes upwards to create a short tubular entrance. This flange also extends down into the box meaning that once inside you can move either side of it and raise your head into air pockets. Here you can remove your regulator and talk (albeit in a slightly high pitched voice) due to the pressure. I would certainly advise avoiding breathing any of the stale air contained within these air pockets. Exiting the box can be done through the top entrance or by descending further and exiting on any side at the base of the box. The box itself sits up on 4 legs making a 2 foot high exiting gap all the way round the base. The interior of the box is dark and a torch is a necessity. The surrounding depth also means ambient light from the surface is at a minimum, so a torch is advisable even if you are not planning to enter the box and this a dive which should be done with the appropriate experience level.

Rik Vercoe, BSAC Advanced Instructor

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