Lundy Civil War wreck on new dive trail

The Iona II. Picture: Wessex Archaeology. The Iona II. Picture: Wessex Archaeology.

Monday, December 9, 2013
4:29 PM

Divers invited to complete a survey on the steamship Iona II, which sank off North Devon in 1864.

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THE call has gone out for help to create a new dive trail for the wreck of an American Civil war blockade runner that sank off Lundy Island.

Wessex Archaeology is calling for contributions to the design and content of an engaging new trail for the Iona II, a designated wreck in the Lundy Marine Conservation Zone.

The Iona II was a fast iron paddle steamer built on the Clyde in Scotland in 1863 - originally built as a mail and excursion boat for the river, it was bought shortly after for use as a Confederate blockade runner and was lost while seeking shelter from a storm at Lundy on January 2, 1864.

It was rediscovered in 1976 and designated in 1990 so that diving access to the wreck can only be made under licence.

Commissioned by English Heritage, the Iona II Diver Trail project aims to facilitate responsible and licenced access and to provide an engaging diving experience that allows divers to fully enjoy their visits whilst feeding back information about its condition.

Wessex Archaeology is consulting with a range of people to design and implement an interesting trail with opportunities to contribute to the monitoring of the wreck.

There will be a variety of interpretation materials covering a range of topics such as ship design, the American Civil War, archaeology and ecology.

As part of the consultation, a survey is being sent out to the diving community and other interested parties. Participants will be asked for input into the design and content of the trail.

It takes around five minutes to complete and entries received before January 10 will go into a draw to win prizes of vouchers for books and diving equipment. Hard copies can be supplied by contacting Peta Knott at Wessex Archaeology on 01722 326867.

For more information and to complete the survey, go to www.surveymonkey.com/s/ionaiisurvey

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