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Diving opportunities

Posted On 10 Dec 2017
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Lying in such close proximity to the Northumberland coastal areas, the town of Killingworth in Tyne and Wear is within easy access of some of the best diving spots in the UK, around the Farne Islands. This is a group of small islands that are located just off the coast of the mainland which number between 15 and 20 in total, depending on the course of the tides. The closest of these is around a mile and a half away while the furthest is situated just under 5 miles from the shore and are split into two groups which are in turn divided by the Staple Sound , the highest point in the area that is 62 feet above standard sea level. Earliest inhabitants of the land can be traced back to the 5th or 6th century or even before, when the Celtic civilisation ruled the lands. At present, the islands are uninhabited by humans with the exception of a few bird sanctuary wardens who occupy parts of the land at certain times of the year however in recent years the islands have proved to be a hive of activity for divers exploring the waters around them which include several ship wrecks, 4000 seals and numerous other rare species of marine life that includes mammals, fish, crustaceans and the like.

divingThere are several diving centres and boat charter services that operate from Seahouses beach on the mainland for those who wish to arrange an organised excursion to dive around the islands but you can also launch your own vessel from the boat launch at Beadnell beach. However there are certain rules and regulations that should be adhered to ensure that all divers follow the correct code of conduct but most of these are common sense and standard practice for any experienced diver. These include respecting the marine life and its habitats as well as any archaeological features in the area. The latter means that you should resist the urge to take away any souvenirs from your dive especially if exploring any of the wrecks which include military ones as these should not be disturbed, so while looking and taking photographs is acceptable, touching or removing anything is not. If you are interested in exploring the wrecks off the Farne Islands then you must have the correct license to do so and these are issued for designated sites only. It is also important that you pay attention to your diving gear and related equipment to ensure it does not damage protected species or their environment in any way. Much of the wildlife in these waters is endangered so it is important to dive conscientiously and to respect the vulnerability of the area and its inhabitants.

It is also important to comply with regulations above the water so by reducing speed as you approach seal or bird colonies, you will be able to keep noise and disruption to a minimum in ecologically sensitive areas. Divers should also be aware of any fishing activity in the area in order to adhere to the fisheries byelaws and avoid discarding rubbish or litter of any kind.

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