As a result of the ADU’s assessment, the Iona II was recommended for protection. In 1989, the Iona II was designated under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973. It was protected for reasons of historical significance and the vessel remains represent -
• The only protected paddle steamer in British waters
• The high quality of Clyde shipbuilding
• The luxury Western Isles ferry service
• A connection to the American Civil War
• A wreck threatened by human activity
The protected status meant that all divers needed to apply for a licence to dive the wreck. This was a way to encourage responsible diving on this fragile site.