It’s mid-November 2018 – and the last day of the season for Grahame Knott and his fellow divers of the Deeper Dorset group. Astonishingly, they’ve been searching for a particular wreck at the bottom of the English Channel for a decade. But now the team’s sonar shows something interesting – and then their underwater camera reveals a wheel. Have they found what they’ve been looking for after all these years?
The English Channel is a popular place for wreck diving, and it’s relatively accessible too. The stretch of sea that lies between southern England and northern France is only some 21 miles across at its narrowest point. Granted, many divers prefer the warmer waters of the likes of the Red Sea or the Caribbean. But a lot of keen wreck hunters, in particular, believe the English Channel is unbeatable.
And that’s despite the cold, the often poor visibility and the inherent risks of diving in the world’s busiest commercial shipping lane. Offsetting such downsides, though, is the fact that there are an enormous number of wrecks to explore. The reason for this? Well, over the centuries, the English Channel has set the stage for countless sea battles – not to mention the aerial warfare that played out overhead during the 20th century’s two world wars.