A Divers Guide Cornwall – Facilities and Services
Cornwall is the most popular county in the UK for diving with excellent diving support facilities. The Divers Guide Cornwall should act as a starting point to plan your trip.
It is important to check the details and availability of services mentioned here to ensure that nothing has changed.
Cornwall and good diving are synonymous, with both coastlines some 100 miles long, offering deep clear water, – almost 3,500 shipwrecks in total, a huge variety of underwater scenery and offshore reefs and rocks.
The Coast of Cornwall for Divers
It is possible to find sheltered diving conditions, no matter what the weather. The south coast of Cornwall offers more launch sites, more secluded pocket handkerchief beaches, and less severe cliffs, hence it supports a larger percentage of visiting divers. In contrast, the north coast has few launch sites, long stretches of inhospitable sheer cliffs, and its beautiful sandy beaches are generally unsuitable for launching inflatable boats. With almost no manned Coastguard lookout stations remaining, diving off the north coast of Cornwall demands special attention to safety, and diving boats should be suitably equipped to handle engine problems and emergencies.
General Diving advice for Cornwall
Diving or snorkelling in Cornish waters is always cold, and wet or dry suits are advised at all times, despite the often tropical appearance of the sea. Whilst the sea may appear warm in the shallows, where the water has picked up heat from the sand, only a matter of yards offshore the temperature can drop dramatically, and you are putting yourself at risk without suitable protection. Fierce tides are also encountered in certain areas, and dive boats should insist that divers carry suitable surface marker buoys (SMB’s).
Diving Emergencies and safety
Diving groups are reminded that Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have no therapeutic compression chamber, the nearest being at Derriford Hospital, Plymouth city’s main hospital and casualty unit (Tel: 01752 – 209999), having recently moved from Fort Bovisand.
Emergencies relating to diving, including ‘missing’ or ‘overdue’ divers, ‘bends’ and ’embolisms’ should be reported direct to the Maritime Rescue Centre, Falmouth (Tel: 01326 – 317575) or on VHF. Channel 16.
We have divided our Cornwall Diving Information into four separate diving areas.