Iona II Dive Trail

English Heritage has commissioned Wessex Archaeology to work with divers, charter boat operators and other stakeholders to create a dive trail for the Iona II wreck site, off Lundy. Divers and dive clubs are therefore being asked for their input into the design of the trail to ensure that it is a rewarding experience for the whole diving community.

The paddle steamer Iona II is legacy of Britain’s involvement in the American Civil War, 150 years ago. The Union naval blockade of the Confederate South cut off the supply of cotton to the textile mills of the north of England and Scotland. British businessmen were therefore only too keen to help the South by ‘running’ the blockade, using the fast new steamships produced in the UK’s world-leading shipyards. Fortunes could be made by those prepared to take the risks.

The Iona II was built for service in the Clyde rather than for Atlantic crossings, but such was the shortage of ‘runners’ that the ship was hastily converted for this role in 1863. Leaving the Clyde in secret, it ran into a wild January gale as it headed into the Atlantic. The ship managed to reach shelter behind Lundy but was by then leaking so badly that it sank on 2nd January 1864, fortunately without loss of life. Rediscovered in 1976, the wreck was later designated under the Protection of Wrecks Act (1973) because of its historical importance. It is now one of England’s most important historic wrecks, a rich ecological habitat and a popular Lundy diving attraction for licensed visitors. Iona II is in the Lundy Island Marine Conservation Zone and access to the site is restricted and controlled through a licensing scheme.

The dive trail will provide an easy way for divers with a variety of interests and experience to access, appreciate and enjoy the Iona II and help ensure that it is preserved for future generations.

This survey should take about 5 minutes to complete. If you submit the survey by Friday 10th January 2014 you can go into the draw to win one of the following prizes:

One £50 voucher to spend at
One of two £25 vouchers to spend at

Make sure to include your email address at the end of the survey to be eligible for these prizes.
Survey participants' emails will be randomly selected and winners notified by Monday 13th January 2014.

Hard copies can be supplied by contacting Peta Knott at Wessex Archaeology on 01722 326867

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