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Diving the King Cadwallon
King Cadwallon Dive MapThe King Cadwallon is a well broken up wreck, but she still has a number of very dinstinctive features. The hull lies against a large rock wall, making her a very sheltered dive, as the current usually flows over the top of her, rather than through her.

A deep to shallow profile is the recommended profile for her. The skipper should be able to drop you right on top of her stern. The top of the stern lies around the 45m mark, with the rudder dropping off below her at around 50m. From the stern, follow the debris field along the left hand side and you will see a chain winch and some other machinery lying on the floor. Partially covered by a large rock next to it. From there swim straight across to the other side of the wreck and you will find her prop shaft lying on the large steel hull plates. 

Next to the prop-shaft you will find what is left of her triple expansion engine, with her two large boilers lying behind a large hull plate. You can follow the hull plates up over a rocky outcrop and you will find the parts of the bow section there. At this point you will be around 20m to 24m. If you follow the rocks up, you are likely to hit the top the rock ledge around 16m to 18m, where you can feel the current pulling. Deploy the SMB and do any stops in mid-water. The water on the top can be quite choppy and the skipper is likely to ask you to swim away from the rocks.

The King Cadwallon was build in 1900 by Rodger A. & Co in Glasgow and was equipped with a 278hp triple expansion engine. She had a single shaft and screw and was designed as bulk cargo carrier. Initially owned by McLaren & Mclaren of Glasgow under the name of SS Edderton. . She was sold to  Philips, Philipps and Co. Ltd - King Line, London in 1904 who renamed her King Cadwallon.

On her last voyage, she was leaving Barry Docks loaded with over 5,000 tonnes of coal. Their destination was Naples and the planned route was to sail south-west along coast, sail south and follow a run down the Alantic Coast, via Gibralter to Naples.  However, Captain George Mowat and his 26 crew were engulfed by heavy fog as soon as they left Barry on 21st July 1906. The fog lifted briefly, allowing the Captain to determine their position as being just off Lundy Island in the Bristol Channel. However, the fog engulfed them shortly later again and by the time they reached the Scilly Isles, they were lost. Captain Mowat knew he was near the Islands, but not exactly where. Reducing speed and checking their depth every few minutes, which reported 50m+ of depth, Captain Mowat was certain they were in deep water. Three minutes after the last check, they hit the rocks.

At 5 a.m. on 22nd July 1906, the ship struck the highest point of the Hard Lewis Rocks. Her engines were shut down immediately and she started to take on water fast, listing heavily to her starboard side. The Captain ordered the ship to abandoned and they took to the boats with their personal belongings. At that moment, the fog lifted. They were rescued shortly later and watched as the King Cadwallon slipped backwards down the rocks into the sea. She sank more or less upright and sits now in 50m of water.

King Cadwallon

Posted on 4/22/2012 by SDA Editor

The King Cadwallon is one the many wrecks found on the Isles of Scilly. The wreck lies between 20m and 40m in depth just off the Hard Lewis Rocks.

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Key numbers

Dive type: Wreck 

Length: 99m

Depth:  20m to 40m

Visibility: 5m to 10m

Location: 49°57.96N 06°14.70W

Difficulty: 3 Stars 

Dive: 3 Stars


King Cadwallon
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King Cadwallon Log Book