Qualification Level: Ocean Diver
Depth Range: 4m
When to dive: At any state of the tide. Especially good if southerly wind means no boat diving. Not good on a north or easterly. Can be very busy in high summer.
Key Features: New and old piers, navigation practice
Chart Plotter Name: n/a
GPS Location:satnav: n/a
Launch Site Address: Swanage pier, Pier Approach, Swanage BH19 2AW
Google Maps: Click For Map
Travel time from Boat Shed: 1hrs 45mins
Site Facilities: Pay to park on the pier if you get there early, otherwise Pay and display parking on the hill above the pier then it’s a short walk down through the gardens (wise to dump kit at entrance to pier if you can). Public toilets on the pier and on the edge of town, tea rooms a plenty in the town, basic snacks to takeaway from gift shop.
More info: Dive Dorset Page 139
Launch Fee: dive from the pier £2.50, park onpier £4-5 half day £7-8 all day, 70p to walk on pier. all money goes to the pier trust for maintenance
Distance over water: n/a
Is it permanently bouyed: Yes
Air Fill: Divers down are on the pier 01929423565,
Coastguard 999 or 112 (both numbers function identically)
For advice on diving related incidents or urgent and emergency hyperbaric referrals including carbon monoxide poisoning in the South West of England contact DDRC on +44 (0)1752 209999
Hyperbaric Recompression Chambers:
DDRC: at Tamar Science Park, Derriford Road, Plymouth, PL6 8BQ. 24hr Advice Line – 01752 209 999
The Diver Clinic, 7 Parkstone Road (A350), Poole, Dorset, BH15 2NN. 24 hour cover Telephone: Day time – 01202 678278, Emergency 07770 423637 (answer service) A return call will be made
The new pier is a good easy access site with steps to enter the water, you can either exit from the steps or if the tide is out there are stone steps near the start of the pier which can be easier. Lots of marine life around the pier , each leg forming it’s own mini reef. Good compass work is advisable so you can follow the pier legs, usually if the light changes you know if you are under the pier or not!
If you want to dive the old pier there are 2 ways, you can either find it by surface swimming to it before descending or you can take a bearing to find it underwater – however beware even with the best navigator it is easy to swim between 2 legs and on out the other side missing the pier completely!
Usually lots of wrasse, spider and velvet swimming crabs, pipefish, anemones and occasional cuttlefish.
Watch out for fishing lines on the new pier as it is a very popular pastime especially at the far end.
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