England

The USS Jacob Jones has been missing since 1917
The USS Jacob Jones has been missing since 1917. Photo provided by Richard Ayrton

Divers find First World War US shipwreck off Cornwall

The USS Jacob Jones was the first American destroyer ever to be sunk by enemy fire. After the United States entered World War I in April 1917, Jacob Jones was sent overseas. On 6 December, Jacob Jones was steaming independently from Brest, France, for Queenstown, when she was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-53 with the loss of 66 men out of a crew of 150. The vessel sank in eight minutes without issuing a distress call.

Earliest English medieval shipwreck uncovered

The survival of a vessel such as this is extremely rare, and there are no known wrecks of seagoing ships from the 11th to the 14th centuries in English waters. The discovery makes this the earliest English designated wreck site where hull remains can be seen, Bournemouth University writes.

The shipwreck was preserved due to unique environmental factors, according to maritime archaeologists now excavating and analyzing the site.

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The loss of this exceptional training resource will be deeply felt within the recreational and technical diving community. NDAC is a unique site in that offers diving in the 6 metre to 80 metre range

NDAC: Top UK dive training quarry closes

The National Diving & Activity Centre is based at a large flooded quarry in Tidenham, Gloucestershire, England. This dive site is located on the English / Welsh border at Chepstow, just a few minutes' drive from the M48 Severn Bridge. For 52 years, this was a toll bridge - cars would pay £5.60 to cross the River Severn. When bridge tolls were scrapped on 17 December 2018, NDAC suddenly became financially more attractive to dive. 

NDAC is permanently closed. We are not taking bookings for leisure activities or public diving.

Membership Question

Divers have asked NDAC about membership refunds. Ashley Bryce, NDAC Manager responded stating that all memberships had been extended by seven months to account for the Covid-19 lockdown. 

What's next for NDAC?

At the time of writing this, it is not known what will happen to NDAC. Rumours have been circulating for a number of weeks that the Ministry of Defence has bought this dive site. This is unlikely. There are other rumours that the quarry is going to be developed into a holiday park. Whether recreational and technical divers will be able to access and dive these unique waters again, is not known at this point. 

Royal Navy to dismantle WWII shipwreck in risk of enormous explosion

A Ministry of Defence report said an explosion “would throw a 300 metre-wide column of water and debris nearly 3,000 metres into the air and generate a wave 5 metres high”.

The warship was part of a US convoy travelling to the UK in August 1944 - but when it arrived in the Thames Estuary, it was instructed to anchor in the Great Nore, off Sheerness, where it sank, with about 1,400 tonnes of explosives remaining on board.

Limited tickets available for Explorers Club event in London

The Explorers Club (Great Britain and Ireland Chapter) are launching an exciting collaboration with their new partners, Cabal Rum. The aim is to promote the scientific exploration of land, sea, air, and space by supporting research and education in the physical, natural and biological sciences. 

As we head into a new era of change we are excited to be launching events and lectures over the next 12 months - with names from all disciplines of exploration. EC GB&IC

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The Vernon Monument honours all involved in mine warfare, diving, bomb and bomb disposal - past, present and future

A monument for all involved with mine warfare and diving to be officially dedicated

At present, the dedication event at Gunwharf Quay is provisionally pencilled for Friday, 15 July 2022. The summer date has been chosen, because it is anticipated that Covid-19 will be less of an issue. That being the case, it is hoped that current and former Royal Navy Clearance Divers will be allowed to take part in this important occasion.