There are certainly some challenges to scuba-diving off the Norfolk coast, such as restricted launching sites, variable visibility, and relatively short slack water. However the flip-side is that there are plenty of wrecks which are relatively undived.
There are a couple of hundred wrecks within 20 miles of the coast including submarines of First and Second World War vintage, planes, and of course ships.
During the early 1990s, with the advent of GPS, locating the wrecks became much more straightforward. During the summer of 1991 we were lucky (as the North Norfolk Divers club) to locate and identify a number of previously unidentified wrecks. It has been fascinating to witness them change and decay to them in the years since.
Many of the wrecks are the victims of the two world wars. During WW2, it was part of our government’s plan to stockpile coal in London in case of problems later on. It was while the colliers rounded the big bump of Norfolk sticking out into the North Sea that so many could be picked-off by E-boats raiding from the continent. Many other ships struck mines and sunk.
There are also many victims of weather or accidents from all ages. The exposure of the Norfolk coast, combined with sandbanks way out to sea lead to treacherous conditions.
Beach launching is possible, but needs a tracked ‘crawler’. The best bet for a simple approach is to launch at Mortson at high water, and retrieve on the next tide. But check daylight and weather first!
If you are an experienced BSAC diver, then contact North Norfolk Divers for advice as to the latest diving conditions, slack times, and whether there is any availability for guest divers on the club’s RIB which operates out of Wells.
Alternatives are Desert Moon (charter) who can be contacted on 01604 407611 or James Holt on 01328 821192.