Your most frequent questions answered.

Can anyone dive the Iona II?

Yes, but only if you have a licence to dive the Iona II as it is a protected wreck.

When is the best time to dive the Iona II?

Slack water is the best time. Weather and conditions can be very changeable on Lundy Island so best to check recent forecasts for up to date information.

How deep is the Iona II wreck?

Approximately 26m deep depending on the state of the tide.

How can I be more involved with the wreck?

You could assist with monitoring the site through our diver monitoring programme.

Or you could apply to do a photographic or measured survey of the wreck remains.

Why is the Iona II protected?

The Iona II is a unique vessel connected to many local and international historic events. It is the only protected paddle steamer in British waters.

How can I organise a dive on the wreck?

Diving the wreck

Why did the vessel wreck?

There are several possibilities for why the vessel sank. The main reason was that water leaked into the hold and the pumps could not keep up with the incoming water. The Iona II had an engine room that was open on three sides which was initially thought to be a good thing – making it a light and airy place. However this could have allowed the water in. It may have been too heavily loaded with coal for the Atlantic crossing making it sit lower in the water. It was a river steamer, not meant for ocean waves, the reinforcing may not have been sufficient.