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Diving Stoney Cove, England Inland Dive Site
Dive Site: Viscount Cockpit
Depth: 5 to 7 metres (21 feet)
Rating: See Stoney Cove overview
Location: From the Bus Stop entry take a 165 degree bearing and expect around a 1 - 2 minute swim. From the Slipway take a 290 degree bearing and expect a 3 - 4 minute swim.
Ideal for introductory training dives a dive to the cockpit can be combined with some of the other shallow features in Stoney Cove. From the cockpit a 110 degree bearing will take you to the Nautilus (a 5 minute swim), or a 340 degree bearing back past the base of the bus stop will take you to the Tank (Armoured Personnel Carrier).
The Viscount is also a good place to visit on the way out to one of the deeper features, or alternatively on the way back. From the Viscount a 170 degree bearing will take you to the Wessex (around a 10 - 12 minute slow swim), a 220 degree bearing will take you to the Bus (6 - 8 minute swim), a 255 degree bearing will take you to the Deep Hydro Box (8 - 10 minute swim) or a 285 degree bearing to the BOP, Tower & 20m Hydro Box (a 4 - 5 minute swim).
History & Description: The Viscount Cockpit is quite literally that – the cockpit section of an old Viscount aircraft (G-AWXI), broken off to the rear of the pilot’s cabin. Wires and cables still protrude from the area which would have once housed a vast array of electrical instrumentation and flight control equipment. It is easily possible to enter the cockpit from the rear and provides interest for student divers on their introductory or early training dives. Located on the edge of the 6 – 7 meter ridge the nose of the cockpit points slightly towards the shore. It sits on the edge of the rocky drop-off, which descends at a steep angle to the 20 meter area. From the rear right hand side of the cockpit (where the fuselage would have been) an underwater slipway or what would have been a railway track leads down to 20 meters. It’s pretty easy to spot this as the old railway sleepers are still visible. Heading on a 285 degree bearing will take you down the rail track, past a metal frame at 12 meters and on to the BOP, Tower and 20m Hydro Box.
Rik Vercoe, BSAC Advanced Instructor
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