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Diving Stoney Cove, England Inland Dive Site
Dive Site: Stanegarth
Depth: 16 to 22 metres (66 feet)
Rating: See Stoney Cove overview
Location: From the Bus Stop entry take a 190 degree bearing and expect around a 10 - 15 minute slow swim. If you want to visit the Viscount on the way out take a 165 degree bearing to the cockpit and then a 205 bearing on towards the wreck. Dropping down the rock face to 20 meters shortly after leaving the Viscount you should see thick anchor chains (which still have the anchor attached) laid along the quarry floor which lead from the anchor at the base of the wall directly to the Stanegarth bow.
From the Slipway entry take a 220 degree bearing and expect a 10 - 12 minute slow swim. Again you should see the chains laid on the quarry floor
The Bus is a good place to visit on route to the Stanegarth - From the Bus Stop entry take a 210 degree bearing, or from the slipway a 255 degree bearing and expect around a 10 minute slow swim. Then take a 125 degree bearing from the driver's side of the bus to reach the Stanegarth.
On the way back why not visit the Landrover, Wessex Helicopter or Bedford Van. From the Stanegarth a 30 degree bearing will take you to the Landrover, 40 degrees to the Wessex and 50 degrees to the Bedford Van
History & Description: Built in 1910 by Lytham Ship Builders Company for Rea Transport Co Ltd of Liverpool, the Stanegarth was a steam powered tugboat used on the British Waterways, predominantly on the Gloucester Canal. In 1957 she had an enclosed wheelhouse added and was converted to diesel power. 18.7 meters long, with a beam of 5 meters the Stanegarth is a relatively small vessel. Originally thought to weigh 46 tons, she turned out to weigh over twice that amount. Apparently the Stoney Cove team removed tons of debris including the gearbox and engine and more steel ballast, yet still she weighed just over 80 tons. Brought to Stoney Cove quarry on the evening of June 6 th 2000, (from Sharpness where she was abandoned) the stopcocks were opened and she was scuttled, taking almost 90 minutes to sink. Interestingly, the wheel house and bulwarks were removed to reduce the overall height to permit the load to fit under motorway bridges and allow transportation to Stoney Cove. These were reattached upon arrival (after the vessel got stuck in the entrance) where the boat was also repainted before its sinking. If you look at the wreck closely you can still see the marks where the bow and wheelhouse were cut and re-attached.
The Stanegarth now sits bolt upright in 22 meters of water on a flat slightly silty bottom. With the main deck at 18 meters and the wheelhouse at 15 meters she is easily accessible to all levels of diver. A large orange buoy marks her position about 90 meters from the shoreline. A great site for trainees she is the ideal place to make student wreck dives. Most of her hatches have been welded open and the wheelhouse, chartroom and interior of the wreck are easily accessible for some basic penetration. The rudder is still in place as is the propeller and the name “Stanegarth” (at the time of writing) is still clearly visible on the bow. There is also a metal plaque on the port exterior side of the wheelhouse detailing the involvement of DIVER magazine in the project.
Rik Vercoe, BSAC Advanced Instructor
Stoney Cove is great the Stanegarth is great as you go down the shotline and all of a sudden it appears out of nowhere, this great big wreck.
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