Hatch from the A1
Hatch from the A1

Extract from Martin Davies' report:

Condition of wreck

The condition of the wreck seems to be as it has been; no major changes were seen apart from what appeared to be a large removal of silt from the scour in the bow area which was a result of the previous year’s winter storms. This still remains clear and has exaggerated the scour. The major dredging operations in the area have ceased for the time being and the large volume of suspended particles in the water column since has reduced to more normal conditions for the site.


The dredging of Portsmouth Harbour has been a major influence this year on visibility in the area and Bracklesham bay always suffers due to the lack of tidal flow through the whole bay. This has meant that conditions on the site have been poor and aligned with that of previous years when Southampton water was dredged. The wreck remains stable and in similar condition to previous years with no major deterioration of the site. The main observations are to the dynamic environment that the submarine sits in. The movement of the seabed and increased scouring effect from tidal action being the dominant factor in the equation and the marine life that the site supports appears to vary quite a lot. There is a lack of tompot blennies on the site this year, in previous years there have been too many to count, in fact the highest proportion of tompots on any site in the area to my knowledge. Some of the sponges appear to come and go, for example on the top of the bow area a couple of years ago there was a large colony of shredded carrot sponge that appears to have gone now. I am seeking professional advice on this from marine biologists as this may well be down to water quality and the lack of light penetration that has caused it to die off along with the reduction in marine life.

The greatest risk that the wreck currently faces is from diver’s dropping heavy shot weights on the wreck. This year Eastley divers dropped their 56lb weight on the bow of A1 and knocked off a chunk of concretion.

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