ARC Project History
In June 1999, John Busby, Nick Murns and a diving friend Nigel Keitley, all regular divers, were sitting in the pub one night. They had just completed another dive on the famous wreck of the “James Eagan Layne” and were commenting on how it had deteriorated during the preceding winter. It became clear that the wreck was falling apart and soon it’s structure would crumble and one of the great dive sites of the UK would be flattened and one of the great diving attractions of the South West would be lost. It was felt that this would have a negative impact on the local diving economy and was a terrible shame.

John decided that he would do something about it and announced to the assembled throng that they could sink a ship. This was initially treated as a joke by the group, but then the conversation turned more serious and it was decided to explore the options to see if this idea could become a reality.

After several hours searching on the internet, and lots of phone calls to relevant authorities John realised that a project such as this may indeed be possible. The idea in the pub was slowly forming into a serious possibility.

On Tuesday 22nd June 1999 an initial meeting was held at Fort Bovisand Underwater Centre, with the Operations Manager, George Gradon and the project was discussed in more detail. It was agreed that it would definitely be good for the local economy and would relieve the stress that the James Eagan Layne is suffering from with the volume of divers on her. George Gradon agreed to put the full support of Fort Bovisand behind this project. Efforts are now underway to form an official project team, which will hopefully include professional, bodies in the area e.g. National Marine Aquarium and University of Plymouth.


Simon Dartmon

Marine Biologist at World Wildlife Fund
Helping out sea creatures during my research into Marine Biology.

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