Sunday, 29 July 2007

Worlds Best Dive Sites #4 - Scapa Flow In Scotland

Scapa Flow is located approximately 16 miles off the coast of mainland Northern Scotland, and is widely considered to be one of the finest examples of wreck diving sites to be found anywhere in the world. Covering 73 square miles, Scapa Flow is essentially a huge basin, and one of the largest natural harbours in the world. Today, around 20,000 scuba divers visit Scapa Flow each year, and wreck diving is undoubtedly one of the major sources of income for the local economy.

The majority of the wrecks at Scapa Flow have come about from a mass scuttling of the German Fleet in 1919, when the German Commander incorrectly thought that hostilities had been resumed. Rather than see the fleet captured, he order the immediate sinking of the 79 German ships which were in the harbour at time.

Today, wrecks such as The Brummer, a German cruiser, and the Kronpriz Willhelm are well known amongst serious wreck divers. In addition other wrecks in Scapa Flow such as the Konig and the James Barrie also present excellent opportunities for wreck divers.

A wide variety of marine life have made Scapa Flow their home, and with the cold tidal water proving a rich source of nutrients, large populations of animals have developed healthy populations in the region. In particular, Scapa Flow has one of the largest populations of grey seals to be found anywhere in Northern Europe.

For those individuals wishing to dive the wrecks, we have listed below a number of Scapa Flow dive operators:

Stromness Diving Centre

You can also find more information on scuba diving in Scotland at the Scubaworld web site.