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Dive the Shipwrecks of D-Day (Normandy France)

Discussion in 'Western Europe' started by Pod Diver Radio, Sep 12, 2018.

  1. Pod Diver Radio

    Pod Diver Radio Dive Travel Professional

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: New York, NY
    Pod Diver Productions is looking for the best Technical Dive Charter boat for an expedition to dive the shipwrecks (and Tanks) of D-Day. We are looking to charter a the whole boat for 1 to 2 weeks. We are looking to video/photo document and explore the deeper wrecks involved in the battle. If you have any recommendations of which wrecks should focus on or referrals to charter boats and expert dive guides, I would appreciate the info... thanks

    Joe Cocozza
    skippy311 likes this.
  2. KenGordon

    KenGordon Rebreather Pilot

    Steve - Channel Diving - Brighton, Eastbourne & Normandy Dive Charters & Rampion Windfarm Boat Trips 07970 674799

    But you have little chance of getting two weeks as boats here are booked about a year ahead.

    He may still have some spaces on trips there but usually they are a bit earlier. If you are aiming at a 75th thing you might have left it a bit late.

    There are no dive guides over here. The skipper will brief you, you may find info from youtube or Diver magazine.

    Sylvia and Dave - Dive125

    There might be people on the French side too.
    skippy311 likes this.
  3. chrisch

    chrisch Solo Diver

    Hi Joe, (I like your scuba radio)

    The advice above is good. A lot of UK divers charter a boat from this side of the channel to make it easier with language and so on. Also they don't have the certification issues the French boats do with the need for CMAS equivalence for the French insurance.

    If you want to book a French boat (or cannot find a UK boat) there are lots to choose from. On the whole they are very friendly towards the Americans (you guys did a good job back in the day). The area round Arromanches is a good start point and there are plenty of options there. Have a look at ARROMANCHES-PLONGEE-YCPWATP – Co-signataire de la charte : Plonger Normand, Plongez Autrement… They have a 20 person boat and the website shows the wrecks.

    Do you have a French speaker in the party? This will be helpful. Also you will find the French don't really "get" email - they can be slow to respond or not respond at all sometimes (even if the message is in French).

    You might find a lot more data on the French language forum plongeur (just add dot com) if you can read French. If you post there in English someone local will help you.

    Whatever you decide to do make sure everyone in your party understands that taking any artefact from the wreck will see you all off the boat the next day - it is illegal and the boat can be confiscated.

    Hope you have a great time and look forward to hearing about it on your podcast.
    skippy311 likes this.
  4. chrisch

    chrisch Solo Diver

    I should - I suppose add - that given the imminent removal of the UK from the EU, you might well be better off with a French boat as the UK boats may possibly not be allowed to dive some of the sites. It is unlikely but given the distance you are travelling and the difficulty of booking last minute it would be a factor I would consider.
  5. KenGordon

    KenGordon Rebreather Pilot

    This is a good point. The boats are likely to be busy busing refugees south and bringing supplies north.
    LiteWeight and JasmineNeedsGills like this.
  6. johnohuk

    johnohuk Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: England
  7. Gareth J

    Gareth J Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: UK
    I think both Chris and Ken have highlighted the point that you are probably a little late attempting to book for 2019.

    If you are successful, then one wreck I would recommend is the Leopoldville.
    She was a liner being used as a Troop ship when she was torpedoed by U486. She was carrying US GI's from the 66th Infantry Division. Almost 800 lives where lost. So historically significant to the USA with a story worth telling.
    She is near Cherbourg. Quite deep, in the 40-50m zone. A huge ship on her side.

    The Duplex Drive Tanks are also an interesting dive, although a tank is a very small dive site. They where modified Sherman Tanks, designed to float, with a propellor driven by the tanks engine. Unfortunately most where swamped before reaching the shore, leaving the landing troops without armour.

    The landing sites where Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword. The Americans landed at Utah and Omaha. I think it would be accurate to say that the American forces had a very rough time of it during the landings.
    The first in were the RN frogmen, whose task was to clear the underwater obstructions to allow access for the landing craft. H hour was 06:30 for Utah and Omaha (giving them the element of surprise), then 7:25 for Gold and Sword, finally 07:35 and 07:45 for Juno.

    It's a long time since I dived Normandy.
    The issues I remember relating to Normandy.
    The Seine Bay is quite exposed to the prevailing weather. If the weather is poor during your visit it can be very rough. If the weather is poor preceding or during your visit the visibility can be quite poor. The bottom is mainly sand, so any rough weather stirs up the sand, which then remains in suspension for some time.
    When conditions are good, the visibility and diving can be exceptional.

    As Chris said. Do not remove anything from the seabed or wrecks. The French are very strict about this. If they board and find anything, they will potentially impound dive kit and the boat.

    One book I do have on the Normandy Dive Sites is
    D-Day Wrecks of Normandy written by Mark James ISBN 0-9531856-0-5
    skippy311 likes this.
  8. Hoag

    Hoag Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ontario
    @Pod Diver Radio this may be slightly off topic and I have no intention to hijack the thread, but I am curious, which beaches do you intend to dive? Are you considering all 5?
  9. Roz

    Roz Scuba Media & Publications

    Joe, hands down talk to MV Salutay. Al and Freda Wright. They know the wrecks. Both are good techie divers in their own right. (No pun intended). Al is also a CCR and commercial diver. You will have the full support you need, and a great base to dive from and sleep on. And Freda's food is top drawer. You will need to book this up early because their charters fill up. Talk to them about the optimal time to dive, ie when there is not so much bloom in the water etc.
  10. Roz

    Roz Scuba Media & Publications

    Not sure that Brexit is going to prevent UK boats diving French wrecks...the UK boats and divers comply with the local laws.

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