The Lucy is one of the most popular wreck dives in Jack Sound.
|Name Dive Site:||Lucy Wreck|
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The Lucy was a 168-feet/52metre coaster containing a cargo of calcium carbide. When saltwater mixes with Calcium carbide, the resulting gas (acetylene) tends to explode, so its not surprising that the crew jumped ship as soon as she ran aground in Jack Sound on Valentines Day in 1967. The captain and his crew of seven, including the ship's dog, were in a life raft and clear of the 450-ton Dutch coaster before you could say, abandon ship! The Lucy had hit the infamous 'Blackstones Reef' in Jack Sound, at approximately noon on the 14th February 1967. She remained fairly well balanced on the reef until the early evening when the full tide lifted her off. The last sighting of her was that she was off through Jack sound heading North into St Brides Bay with a heavy list to starboard. She was never seen again, on the surface that is! The current carried her into the entrance to North Haven where she sank perfectly upright in 40m of water.
Be warned, that even though a fabulous dive, this is an advanced dive and divers should be aware that the 'Lucy' is a deep wreck with little or no light penetration. The location of the wreck makes it a sheltered site from southerly winds, although if the wind is NE to NW, it can be a bit bumpy! As she is located in the heart of the Skomer Marine Reserve, she has been buoyed up so as to prevent shot lines being dropped left, right and centre. The bowline takes you down to approximately 33m, depending on the state of the tide. Top tip: regardless of your experience level, hold onto the line all the way down to the wreck, as current and light penetration can sometimes make the journey a bit more challenging.
If there is any current, you'll find shelter either on the port or starboard side. Once you hit the superstructure at the stern, be sure to peer into the wheelhouse from outside. Many a diver has had a start after peering inside and finding a pair of grayish discs peering back! Seals do frequent the wreck so make sure you're with the right buddy! Check out the mast as its covered in plumose anemones and dead man fingers. For the more experienced divers, you can come up the mast to 18m and release your delayed SMB. It is possible to then swim to Rye Rocks to finish off your dive by swimming for about 5 minutes due SE. If there is current you'll have to take this into account. The bow mast of the Lucy lies in 14m of water on Rye Rocks.
TIPS: Slack water is two and a half hours after high/low water at Milford Haven, although she can be dived most of the time when the tide is less than 6m. Depth is 42m on spring tides, but recommend you stay on the wreck, as there isn't much on the sand bed. With that in mind, an Enriched mix of 28%-30% will give the Nitrox trained divers amongst you significantly more time to explore.
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There are nearly 40 wrecks within easy reach of the launch sites here. My favorite wreck, and that of many other visiting divers too, has to be the 450-ton two-hold Dutch coaster, the Lucy. This 168ft long vessel sank in 1967 with a cargo of calcium carbide (used in making acetylene gas). Having struck Cable Rock in the middle of Jack Sound on Valentine's Day, the 7-man crew and one Collie dog promptly abandoned ship to avoid the results of the sea water/calcium carbide cocktail they had produced.
This upright small coaster wreck, situated at depths exceeding 30 meters, is easily penetrated. Experienced wreck divers can swim through the deck levels via a staircase inside the main superstructure. Most scuba divers will enter the vessel at one of the external doorways and exit through another seen on the opposite side. The aft deck rails are festooned with pastel-shaded plumose anemones. The currents here in North Haven are generally mild, but care should be taken when tides exceed 6 meters.
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