Dive The Earl of Shaftesbury (www.DiveSriLanka.com)

The days of the masts and sails

By Dharshana Jayawardena

Depth: 12-14 Meters.

One day in May 1893, the four masted Iron Sale Ship Earl of Shaftesbury with Captain R. Irvine at the helm, was en route to Diamond Island from Bombay when it capsized off the shores of Akurala/Hikkaduwa not far away from the future resting place of the Conch. A decade earlier the ship, which was owned by D. Brown & Sons, had come into being at the shipyard of Ramage & Ferguson in Leith. Before its demise on this fateful day, the ship was 2100 Tons heavy 85 Meters long, 13 Meters wide and 7 Meters in height.

Today, a century later, the beautiful remnants of the EOS now lies at a depth of 15 meters scattered all over a flat sandy terrain providing for a absolutely fantastic, fun and easy dive.

The hull section of the ship along with some of the masts, sides of the cabin can be seen to this day. On a day with good visibility the wreck becomes a very scenic dive site with a very surreal quality. The wreck generally inhabited by large Stingrays, Groupers, small schools of Snappers, Lionfish and Porcupinefish.

A good hour of exploration can cover almost all of the wreck. For the underwater photographer, the wreck will provide scenic Wide Angle shots and variety of marine life.


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Photographed on the 3rd of January 2007 by Dharshana Jayawardena