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HMS Scylla was a British naval frigate, built in 1968 and in service until 1993. She was brought by the National Marine Aquarium in 2003 and sunk in Whitsand Bay in 2004. Before being sunk, lots of work was done to ensure the ship was safe and easy to explore by scuba divers. Unfortunately, over the years extreme weather has had an affect on the ship and since 2017 penetration dives have been regarded unsafe. Divers should also take care to avoid abandoned fishing gear and other debris that has accumulated over the years. Easily reached by boat from Plymouth in about 45 minutes, there is still plenty to explore.

The main reason for sinking the Scylla was to create an artificial reef and for the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth to study the life that took up residence there. After only two years, over 80% of the surfaces on the ship had been colonized. It is now thought that over 270 species can be found there. Close by (around 700m) is the wreck of the James Eagan Layne, an American Liberty Ship that sank in 1945 full of supplies including railway lines and Jeeps. Like the Scylla, diving inside the ship is not encouraged due to collapsing plates.


Diving profileHMS Scylla

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Depth: 25m
  • Seabed: Sand
  • Average water Temperature: 7ºC - 16ºC
  • Visibility: Good
  • Best season for diving: Summer
  • Closest hyperbaric chamber: Derriford Plymouth Hospital