With hosts of wrecks and seas that are teeming with life, the Foyle and Carlingford areas are exciting destinations for diving enthusiasts.
Over the centuries, the Atlantic waves and rocky reefs of the northern Inishowen coastline have claimed hundreds of vessels. Battle ships, merchant vessels, submarines and steamships are among the many wrecks dotting this part of the coast.
The most famous is the 1,100-tonne Trinidad Valencera — one of the largest ships in the Spanish Armada, which sank in Kinnagoe Bay in 1588. Divers from the City of Derry Sub-aqua Club discovered it in 1971. Many of the artefacts recovered are displayed in Derry’s Tower Museum.
Many forms of marine life colonise the wrecks and thrive there, as well as in the sand-beds, reefs and coves of this spectacular stretch of coastline.
Carlingford Lough on the east coast supports a rich variety of fish and offers great opportunities for shore- and boat-diving. Enthusiasts can choose between nine identified sites, all of which provide opportunities for interesting and relatively easy dives.
Many wrecks are recorded in the area including those of the passenger ferry SS Connemara and the SS Retriever which collided in a storm in 1916 and lie just metres apart. The Blockhouse is a shelf dive, offering chances to view many different species of marine life including sponges, sea squirts, anemones, lobster and conger eels.
Divers are reminded that the Lough is tidal with dangerous currents, so expeditions should be carefully planned.