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This infamous reef of the east coast of the Lizard is one of the most popular dive sites in the UK. The area has claimed hundreds of ships over the years, including the SS Mohegan in 1898. But it’s also a haven for sealife with breeding grounds for dogfish and anglerfish and rock stacks covered in jewelled anemones.

Diving on the reef can be dangerous with very strong tides and little shelter if the wind changes. Be sure to get local advise or dive with a group who know the area. The main dive sites on the reef are Vase Rock, a pinnacle that starts about 5m below surface and goes down to 45 m. Just south of Vase is Pen-Wyn, a breeding ground for anglerfish (also known as monkfish) and the site of the rudder from the SS Mohegan.

The SS Mohegan sank in mysterious circumstances after hitting Vase Rock. Bound for New York, she had over one hundred and sixty people on board, a undred of six of whom sadly lost their lives. Wreckage is spread across the reef in depths between 16m and 26m. The holds are still littered with floor tiles and crockery, but beware, the wreck is said to be haunted!



Diving profileManacles Reef

  • Level: Advanced
  • Depth: 17m - 45m
  • Seabed: Sand and gravel
  • Average water Temperature: 7ºC - 16ºC
  • Visibility: Good
  • Best season for diving: Summer
  • Closest hyperbaric chamber: -