Wessex Archaeology is calling for contributions to the design and content of an engaging new dive trail for the Iona II, a designated wreck in the Lundy Marine Conservation Zone.
The Iona II was a fast iron paddle steamer built on the Clyde in 1863 at the time of the American Civil War. Originally built for use as a mail and excursion boat on the Clyde, Iona II was shortly afterwards purchased for use as a Confederate blockade runner and was lost while seeking shelter from a storm at Lundy on 2nd January 1864.
Since the wreck’s rediscovery in 1976, numerous archaeological investigations have been undertaken on the site both to survey the remains and to monitor changes to the structure and sediment levels on the site. The wreck was designated in 1990 and since then, divers have only been able to access the wreck under licence.
Commissioned by English Heritage, the ’Iona II Diver Trail’ project aims to facilitate responsible and licenced access and to provide an engaging diving experience that allows divers to fully enjoy their visits whilst feeding back information about the condition of the wreck to English Heritage.
Wessex Archaeology is consulting with a range of stakeholders to design and implement an interesting dive trail with the capacity for multilevel appreciation of the wreck and for opportunities to contribute to the monitoring of the wreck. There will be a wide variety of interpretation materials covering a range of topics possibly including ship design, the American Civil War, archaeology and ecology ensuring that there will be something to appeal to divers of all interests.
As part of the consultation, a survey is being sent out to the diving community and other interested people. Participants will be asked for their input into the design and content of the trail to ensure that it is a rewarding experience for the whole diving community.
The survey will only take around 5 minutes and entries received before 10th January 2014 will go into a draw to win prizes of vouchers for books and diving equipment!
Please pass the survey details on to anyone who might be interested in contributing to the dive trail. Hard copies can be supplied by contacting Peta Knott at Wessex Archaeology on 01722 326867