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Empire tana from above

Alternative Names: lees wreck, She was an Italian ship previously called the Carso.

Type of Dive: Shore wreck dive near ballyhenry island.

Wreck Information: 6000 tonnes. Built in Italy in 1923, launched as the ‘Carso’, she was later used by the British as part of the ‘Gooseberry’ breakwater on ‘Sword’ beach in Normandy in 1944. Bought by Lee’s shipbreakers after the war, she was being towed into Ballyhenry Bay when she struck a reef and broke in two. The bow section was cut off and beached; the stern section remains in the channel

Suggested experience:  Novice

Travel Directions: from Portaferry, turn right on reaching the lough shore at the bottom of Ferry Street, drive past the ferry slip and along the Lough Shore Road.  

Distance from Portaferry: 1.5 Miles  5 Mins

Parking directions:  In the layby on the road Google

Empire tana parking area

Lat & Long:   54.391469,-5.575012  Google

Tides: Tide tables  Dive slack water.

Depth: 5-10m

Site entry/exit:  Simple walk into the water at the beach and surface swim out.

Empire tana entry/exit

Underwater directions:  Dive itself is silty on the shore side (bow points at ballyhenry island) there is a lot of crabs and some mussel life about here. There is a break in the wreck where the wreck was blown apart and there is a small overhead environment and gangway but exits are small! the only reason I go in here is to say hi to the resident photo shy tompot blennie. As you get to the lough side of the wreck you get a stonier bottom (though there is still silt and sand). But more importantly, you get conger, shrimp armies and the odd lobster too.  

Air & Nitrox fills: DV Diving

Site Hazards:  Silt, entanglement.

Nearest Public phone:  Portaferry

Mobile Network service:  contact me

Accommodation:  contact me

Other comments:  (inner lees was on spring watch where Kate humble had a conger go mental and "danced" with her...Generally, on this dive you see a lot of life... ranging from jewel anemones, urchins, conger, Pollock, wrasse, bib (poor cod), shrimp, conger, nudibranch and ive even seen an octopus  - did I mention conger....



Created By: Connor McGrath

Date: 17/7/11

Revision: 1

Thanks To: Penguin for Addition wreck info.

Links: Link

Surface Photos: By Connor McGrath  The picture below was taken at low water springs.

Empire Tana

Underwater Photos: By Connor McGrath

empire tana3Conger eelempire tana6empire tana7

Dive Map:

Dive Report:  Penguin 22/7/11 Popular shore dive. Choose slack water. A circuit of the wreck covers both mud (inshore / starboard) and gravel (port) habitats. On the port side, congers and lobsters live under the wreck. Other wreckage, including a large propeller, can be found at the bow. It is possible to swim inside the wreck, easily accessed through the midship break into the second hold; holes in the bulkhead lead into the forward hold, which can also be entered through holes on either side of the bow (shallow, and awkward to find from outside). Caution should be exercised around the midship break as this has become increasingly unstable in recent years. Do not become complacent by the open aspect of the wreck’s interior – overhead areas do exist and are easily entered by accident; the interior is heavily silted.

Dive Report: Comment in the box below.