Fleur de Lys

Type of vessel - Wooden fishing trawler

How sunk – Explosion

Former names – None

Wreck height - 2.5m

The Fleur de Lys was built in Brittany in 1969. She was 16.4 metres long, constructed from oak, and weighed about 45 tons. She was brought over to British waters from France when she was purchased by Nick Brust in 1989. On Sunday 16th April 2000, four people were on board the Fleur de Lys on their way back to Brixham from a fishing trip around Alderney. They had been having problems with the hot water system as steam was coming from the taps rather than water. At 15.12 there was an explosion as a result of pressure build up that ruptured the hot water storage cylinder. The damage to the hull from the explosion caused the boat to begin sinking 18 miles southwest of Portland Bill in Dorset. The onboard liferaft failed to inflate and the crew found themselves rapidly submerged in water. A Mayday was sent out that was responded to by several vessels as well as a coastguard helicopter, which recovered all four crew 16 minutes later suffering only from cold and minor injuries. Unsuccessful attempts were made to raise the Fleur de Lys whilst she was being towed on passage to Poole, and so she was abandoned in Swanage Bay.

The Fleur de Lys is located just inside Swanage Bay as you head out towards Old Harry and has a surface marker buoy permanently attached to it, so will not need to be shotted. The small size of the wreck allows you to have a thorough explore and it is even possible to do some penetration, but be wary of the huge metal nails sticking out from the sides! A good idea for a dive plan is to begin with a circuit of the wreck to get an overall impression before going back to hunt for sea life. If your dive time allows it, you can drift off in the current to explore the nearby seabed. If you take a torch down with you use it to look in the areas sheltered from the current by the wreck, and look under rocks for crabs. She makes an ideal training or second dive.

South Coast Ship Wrecks

South Coast

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