27th May 2012
by Richard Booth
The original plan was to launch from South Shields and head out of the Tyne to dive some of the numerous wrecks that litter this area of the northeast coastline. We duly assembled at 7:00am to catch the high tide only to be greeted by the sight of a thick bank of fog in the harbour which also stretched down the coastline. After an hour of optimistic waiting to see if the sun would appear and burn off the fog, we reluctantly took the decision to abandon any thoughts of a boat dive. Instead the majority of the party headed over to Brown’s Bay to see if there was any prospect of a shore dive.
Here too there was fog, but the shelter offered by the bay offered fewer prospects of becoming disorientated and lost. Compass skills would however be required.
Kitted up we marched down to the waters edge, the high tide providing us with relatively easy access into the water.
Following our compass bearing most of the party succeeded in finding the wreck of the Butetown, despite it being hidden amongst the debris of the rocks and kelp that are a feature of this site.
Underwater visibility was a reasonable 4 metres plus. Exploring around the Butetown wreckage it was noticeable that the boilers seem to have taken something of a battering over the winter, and are starting to break apart and collapse. That said this little wreck still provides an interesting wreck diver with plenty of marine life to be found including lobsters and a nesting lumpsucker.
All in all an enjoyable dive despite the fog on the Tyne.