Underwater Explorers in Dorset, England has advised us of an update on a popular Portland wreck.
Following an incident in May, Portland Harbour is taking measures to avoid diving incidents related to the Countess of Erne. The wreck is to be permanently marked with a buoy on the bow. Detailed handouts are also being prepared to give to visiting divers to help reduce in-water accidents.
On 22nd May three divers were swept out of the East Channel as a 90 metre tanker was being piloted in. The divers had apparently failed to find the Countess of Erne and started an ascent. During the ascent they conducted a 5 metre safety stop and ended up drifting through the channel as the tanker with a draft of 5.4 metres was being piloted in. It was only because the pilot boat spotted the divers' SMB and the tanker was small enough to alter her course, that an incident was avoided. Had this been a larger less maneuverable vessel and the timings been a little different, this may have resulted in a very serious incident.