Divers view Shaun Shaun wreck

Divers view Shaun Shaun wreck

Sheephaven SAC diving continued into Monday this week with a rare opportunity to conduct a wreck dive out from Killybegs. 

However, weekend diving started on Saturday morning, when the club dived Dunloan Rock as a one-boat, two-stick dive led by Kevin Boylan.

Conditions out to sea were quite poor, with the swell breaking over the gap at Melmore Head much too rough to dive at that location.

Dunloan Rock was the alternative, and a drift dive on a flooding tide took divers towards Mevagh slipway on a 40-minute roller coaster of a dive.

Maximum depth was over 22 metres, with in-water visibility of over seven metres and water temperature at 16 degrees Celsius. Marine life was as abundant and varied as always, with conger eels being of particular interest.

On Sunday divers avoided the forecasted strong gale with a snorkel out from PortnaBlagh, where club members crossed the harbour to the golf course while taking in the caves on the way. It was great to be in the water, no matter the weather.

Paul McCabe and Simon Henderson led a Sheephaven dive party from Killybegs on Monday afternoon. Brendan Proctor provided dry coxswain duties allowing the two dives to be completed in one stick, while Donegal Bay diver Eddie Lynch provided directions to the dive site.

The first dive was at Drumanoo Head, 20 minutes out from Killybegs and conducted in 40 minutes to a depth of 30 metres. The sea bed here is rock and boulders that eventually gives way to gravel and sand.

The second dive was conducted on the wreck of the Shaun Shaun, after the mandatory two-hour surface interval.

The Shaun Shaun was a 50-foot steel trawler that sank while fishing herring in 2010. The wreck is in very good condition and lies on its starboard side in more than 30 metres of water, just 20 minutes from Killybegs between Drumanoo Head and St. John’s Point.

The second dive carried a penalty from the previous dive, which going by dive tables would have allowed a maximum of 11 minutes at 30 metres, instead of the normal 17 minutes at this depth.

However, on the dive computers a no-decompression limit came up at around 14 minutes, when divers began their ascent and completed a three-minute safety stop at six metres before coming to the surface. It was a great thrill to finally dive the Shaun Shaun and find a wreck in such good condition.