About this website
This guide contains wreck and scenic dive sites from Stavanger to Ålesund. It is primarily intended as a resource for dive organisers in UK branches of the British Sub Aqua Club or similar non-commercial diving groups who are planning boat-based expeditions to western Norway. The latitudes and longitudes given are sufficient for trip planning. However additional local knowledge (normally provided by the skipper) and/or searching will be needed to pinpoint many of the wrecks.
The information on this website may also be of interest to individual divers who are members of expeditions, or who are thinking of booking independently with a dive operator in western Norway.
Richard Scarsbrook, BSAC First Class Diver and Advanced Instructor, started diving in 1982. A member of Trafford Sub Aqua Club ever since, he has over 2000 dives under his belt. He first dived in Norway in 1996 when he led the three week Arctic Norway Expedition, for which he won the British Sub Aqua Club Expeditions Award. He has led further expeditions in 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2008. An oceanography graduate, RYA/MCA Coastal Skipper, and retired IT management consultant, much of his time revolves around researching and exploring new sites. He also volunteers a substantial amount of time to BSAC, where he is on the National Diving Committee as Technical Editor for the Diver Training Programme. He still makes at least 50 dives a year.
Acknowledgements & References
The information on this website has been drawn from many sources in addition to the author's personal knowledge. The following have been particularly helpful:
Bob Jones, skipper of Gaelic Rose (01967 421357)
Gordon Wadsworth, skipper of Jane R (01631 565524)
Nils Hovland of Fløro
Geir Jørgensen of Haugesund
Atle Toskedal of Bergen
Dictionary of Disasters at Sea by Charles Hocking: ISBN 0 948130 72 5
Modern Shipping Disasters by Norman Hooke: ISBN 1-85044-211-8
Lloyd's War Losses WW2 Vol 1: ISBN 1-85044-217-7
Havet Tok by Malvin Toft: ISBN 82-91722-36-6
Skipsforlis I Bergensleden fra Bømlahuk til Holmengrå by Erik Bakkevig: ISBN 82-303-0543-9
Skipsforlis Gjennom Tidene fra Skudefjorden til Bømlahuk by Erik Bakkevig: ISBN 82-303-0098-4
dykkepedia by Matt Duke is an excellent resource. It reproduces much of the information from this website in Norwegian, but also includes many other divesites, and much ancillary information.
The following people have supplied photographs:
The artistic line drawings of various wrecks are by Jonathan Greenbaum. The scruffy ones are my own.
Some photographs within this website have been found elsewhere on the internet. In every case there is a link to the relevant site.
Although reasonable care has been taken in the preparation of this website, the author accepts no responsibility or liability for any errors, omissions, or alterations, or for any consequences arising from the use of, or reliance upon, any information contained here. Due caution should be exercised by anyone attempting dives on any site described or indicated.
Charts & Positions
Each dive site is referred to a Norwegian chart on which it can be found. Chart numbers prefixed by a letter (Q813) are from the Small Craft Chart Series; two-digit chart numbers (22) are from the Main Chart Series; and three-digit numbers (251) are from the Coastal Chart Series. Details of these charts can be obtained from the Norwegian Hydrographic Service. Individual charts can be ordered from chart agents in the UK. Charts are readily available, and cheaper than in the UK, at most bookshops in Norway.
The positions quoted in this website are rounded to the nearest minute. They are not intended to be used for precise site location so the chart datum used is irrelevant. However, be aware that many Norwegian charts are drawn to the European datum, and positions taken from them can vary by up to 200 metres from those taken from GPS receivers operating in their default datum WGS84. Access to exact positions and other location information is restricted. Leaders of bona-fide non-commercial expeditions are welcome to contact the author for further information.
Directions are expressed using points of the compass, usually abbreviated by their initial letters - S(outh), N(orth)W(est), etc. R(ight) and L(eft) are sometimes used - always to be applied when facing towards the object in question.
Distances are normally given in nautical miles (nm), and cables (1ca=1/10nm). Occasionally metric units are used - metres (m) and kilometres (km).
Ship dimensions, where available, are given rounded to the nearest metre.
Tonnage is much misunderstood. Several different measures exist; the tonnage calculated by different measures can vary by a factor of three or more for the same vessel; and they are frequently muddled up. As a wreck diver, it helps to know about tonnages so that you can compare the sizes of different wrecks more easily. On this website, I have quoted the best information available.
Displacement (dt) - is the actual weight of the vessel, less cargo. This is the measure normally used for warships.
Deadweight (dwt) is the actual weight of the cargo when the vessel is fully laden. So displacement + deadweight = total weight of the fully laden vessel. Deadweight is often used to describe bulk carriers such as tankers.
Gross Tonnage (gt) is actually an estimate of the internal volume of a vessel. Originally a vessel's capacity was based on how many tuns or casks of wine it could carry. Over the years tuns has become confused with tons. One ton = 100 cubic feet. Gross tonnage is often used to describe merchant vessels.
Net Tonnage (nt) is gross tonnage less the volume of various permitted spaces such as crew quarters. Net tonnage is sometimes used to describe passenger vessels.
Registered Tonnage is the tonnage, gross or net, registered under international shipping legislation with an agency such as Lloyds. In shipping literature sometimes the measure is quoted (nrt or grt), and sometimes it isn't (registered tons (rt), British registered tons (brt), or just plain tons (t)).
The crucial point to remember is that for a given vessel the net tonnage is a bit less than gross tonnage, but deadweight and displacement are two or three times greater. Eg the bulk carrier Kowloon Bridge wrecked off SW Eire 89000gt 169000dwt.
The Norwegian alphabet has been used for spellings of place and ship names, where appropriate. This includes 3 letters which do not appear in the English alphabet: Æ, Ø, and Å (lower case equivalents æ, ø, å respectively). These three characters appear at the end of the alphabet, after Z. I have used this sort sequence in lists on the website. Sometimes on Norwegian documents (charts for example) ø is written as ö; and å is written as aa. Also, some software does not recognise these special characters in filenames, which caused me a great deal of head-scratching on my first attempt to publish this website.