Loss of historic ship, one missing; MAG Committee Meeting; Offshore Renewables; SPLASHCOS; Conference news…; Diving bits and pieces; New NHS publication; Pharaonic sea-going ship


Loss of historic ship, one missing

The Yarmouth Navigator, one of the very few surviving D-Day ships has sunk in Plymouth Sound whilst being moved to a new mooring. One person was missing as of Sunday night and a search was ongoing.

MAG Committee Meeting

The next committee meeting is on Tuesday 1 February. If you have an issue that you think the committee will wish to discuss, please contact a committee member or leave a message on this Blog.

Offshore Renewables

New documents concerning protocols for archaeological discoveries and written schemes of investigation for offshore renewables were published by The Crown Estate in December. Copies have been circulated to MAG members.


A short report written by Jonathan Benjamin on the SPLASHCOS meeting in Rhodes in 2010 has been circulated to MAG members.

Conference news…

A call for papers for the Asian Academy for Heritage Management (AAHM) Asia Pacific Regional Conference on Underwater Cultural Heritage on 8-12 November 2011 has been announced.

The 29th International Shipwreck Conference will take place at Plymouth on 5 February. The conference traditionally features a range of speakers from different backgrounds, including archaeologists. This year’s speakers are as follows:

  • Nikolaus von und zu Sandizell and Alejandro Mirabal- Shipwrecks in Indonesian territorial waters
  • Ayse Devrim Atauz – Shipwrecks of the Deep Ocean
  • Steven Schwankert – The Real Poseidon Adventure: Britain’s Lost Submarine in China.
  • Pete Holt and Martin Davis – SHIPS Project and Wrecks of Plymouth
  • Teresa Tellus – Behind the expeditions: RMS Lusitania, HMHS Britannic and more
  • Ted Crosby – Project Highball
  • Juan Campos – The loss of HMS Serpent
  • Mark Dunkley – The Future of English Heritage

A meeting for licensees of sites designated under the Protection of Wrecks Act will take place the day before in Plymouth.

Diving bits and pieces

Anyone with any doubt as to the value of the UK’s strict commercial diving regulations might be interested to learn that it is reported that in the USA there were an average of 19 non-recreational diver fatalities per year in 2001-10 (source: FIAR, Offshore Diver website).

The HSE have recently given informal guidance as to the maximum height a diver can be expected to climb when leaving the water. This is 3 metres. Archaeologists tend to dive from small vessels up to 25m LOA and the guidance is therefore unlikely to cause any issues in this respect. However it may be more of a problem if diving is taking place from a harbour wall. Members should note that IMCA (the trade association for marine operators working in oil and gas) recommends that the maximum climb should be no more than 2 metres.

Members should please note that a case occurred in the UK last year of a diver suffering from a near fatal infection of the lungs. Examination of the inside of the diver’s BCD found evidence of dangerous fungi and reports at the time suggested that the equipment may not have been properly cleaned. The HSE has issued guidance on the cleaning of diving equipment.

An injury also occurred last year as a result of the accidental disconnection of an air cylinder pillar valve. Incompatible metric and imperial threads had been used. HSE guidance is also available on diving cylinders:

An abnormal number of burst HP hoses were experienced in 2010. This led to advice being issued with regard to the use of hose protectors.

There has been an increase in the number of complaints to the HSE about PPE as a result of an RMT campaign. It is a diving contractor’s responsibility to provide PPE or to ensure that diver supplied PPE is in good condition.

New NHS publication

National Historic Ships has just published Conserving Historic Vessels: Understanding Historic Vessels Vol.3.

Pharaonic sea-going ship

Excavations at Wadi Gawasis/Mersa on the Red Sea coast of Egypt are continuing to uncover the well preserved remains of maritime storerooms. The site has also produced the remains of a 21m long sea-going Pharaonic-era ship.


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