HMS A1 was the first submarine designed and built in Britain, in 1903. After colliding with the ss Berwick Castle during training a year later, the vessel sank with the loss of all onboard. It was raised soon after and used in training practicals, until 1911 when it sank a second time after the tow line it was attached to broke. The A1 was accidentally rediscovered in 1989 by fishermen and is located SW of Wittering, West Sussex, lying at a depth of 10m. The dimensions of the visible part of the wreck are 25m x 3.8m.
Since 1998, the submarine has been designated as a historic wreck under the Protection of Wrecks Act of 1973. Dive surveys have noted that the wreck site is mainly at risk from sports divers, who unfortunately have been retrieving pieces from the wreck. In June 2003, Wessex Archaeology completed a geophysical survey of the wreck site, using magnetometer, sub-bottom profiler and multibeam sonar. The results indicated that the submarine was lying on an even keel, and that the bow was standing proud of the seabed whilst the stern lay buried under a sandbank. The multibeam results of the wreck site can be viewed here. In 2006, Wessex Archaeology completed an archaeological report about the A1 on behalf of English Heritage; the full report can be downloaded here. Further information about the A1 can be found on the English Heritage website. INSERT_MAP