|Site 14: Sandwick Bay|
How to get here
From Pooley Bridge take the unclassified road to "Howtown". You will see signposts for Howtown - Martindale. Follow this road. You will now pass Sharrow Bay Hotel followed by Howtown public boat slip, all on your right side. Continue past these and within a mile or so, you will be faced with an amazing up-mountain road akin to something you would meet in the Swiss Alps! Its full lock - hard to port and then full lock - hard to starboard up this road. If you fail to blow your horn going up (or down) you'll hit a car coming the opposite way!!
Next question - where's Sandwick bay? Keep driving on this single track road, and no - road conditions don't get any better. Is it worth the treck? See (photo a & b) above. You'll find all signs up here point clearly to Sandwick village.
At Sandwick, you'll find the road just comes to an end. Where is the parking? Thankfully, we have a video which shows you almost everything (opposite). There is room for one car where we parked and two other spots that can hold three cars each.
This is a cracker of a site. Rock faces dropping to 15 metres in rocky step type formation in many places with fantastic veiws from above on a sunny day (photo c & d). She is comparable to Stybarrow crag with one big difference. There's a rather exciting wreck down there at 34 metres although this is more difficult to reach if on foot. You really need a RiB to reach it.
You'll need to walk for ten minutes to reach the Sandwick bay dive site. A small bridge takes you across Sandwick beck and then through four gates down to a sandy beach.
Dive a: Enjoy a dive in Sandwick bay taking in the rock formations on your right. Dropping down to no more than 20 metres offers the best scenic route here. Large eels and Perch are out here and if you are looking for more depth, you have a maximum 34 metres which takes you into the flat central area of this part of Ullswater. The other dive site is further along and it has to be said - a bit of a walk to do unless in a RiB. Site b: is the aircraft - update 26/10/07 it is now known that this is not a bomber as previously stated thanks to Steve Carmichael Timpsons research, but it is rumoured that one engine still remains down there - location is still unknown at this time. However, I do recall (see picture e) hovering around these near to surface rock pinnacle markers and being maybe circa 150 metres away from them during the dive? - but unsure which side of them?? I also recall a vertical rock face rising about 20 feet up.
Buddies Martin Middlemiss and Alister (photo f & g), back in 2007 / 08 had been searching the area with us, but nothing was discovered on those attempts.
Here is the chatter from some well known divers on a forum:-
SteveCT 06-04-2007, 17:53 Naaa, 1997 old can of Heineken. Actually I found a nice old bottle. And a dead fish. :D Paul I will be up there sometime soon to film the wreck of the aircraft that's in there too.
Steve suggsy 06-04-2007, 17:58 Nooooooooooooooooooooooo! :eek: What type? You need a hand? ;)
SteveCT 06-04-2007, 18:13 Nooooooooooooooooooooooo! :eek: What type? You need a hand? ;)
It's of the type that has two wings. One stuck out of one side and one stuck out of the other. There are engines too and some seats.
Steve ChristianG 07-04-2007, 09:22 It's close. Looks very similar. :D :D Steve Can you see the red bits at that depth without a light? :D Cheers, Christian
SteveCT 07-04-2007, 09:50 Christian It's not red anymore. Plus the one in this picture is an earlier model as the one that I have seen has four engines. Steve :D :D
Tonytsdiver 08-04-2007, 20:16 I will be up there sometime soon to film the wreck of the aircraft that's in there too. Steve Have you any more details of this Steve ? Do you need any extras for your filming ? :D Ok so is this a Lancaster Bomber ?
SteveCT 08-04-2007, 20:23 Have you any more details of this Steve ? Do you need any extras for your filming ? :D Ok so is this a Lancaster Bomber ? I have dived it and it's definately not the Lancaster bomber. The Lancaster bomber of Ullswater doesn't exist. The area that it's supposed to be has been scanned thoroughly with a sonar towfish and it's not there. I don't know where the rumour comes from but it's not true. There is a story that the RAF recovered a dummy bouncing bomb from the wreck and it now resides in the RAF museum. If you call the RAF museum and ask them about the bomb recovered from Ullswater they will say they don't have one and there has never been a bomb recovered from Ullswater. It's a small 4 engined aircraft that was mainly canvas clad and later on in the year I'm going to get up there and video it. Thanks for the offer of a hand but we already have a boat full but will publish the details when I get the chance. I've been very busy for the past few months and I haven't had the time.
SteveCT 29-04-2007, 20:39 I have the numbers of the aircraft and when I get the video and publish it then all the details will be out. It's not a Lancaster. The Lancaster that is supposed to be there is not true. There is no evidence that a Lancaster went into Ullswater. 617 Sqn NEVER used Ullswater to practice and if you get the latest Dambuster book by John Sweetman it details it all. If you also go to the RAF Archives and read the accident record cards (it's a short period of time and such a small number of specific aircraft) there is no record of a Lancaster from 617 Sqn going into Ullswater. There is a story going round that there was a dummy "bouncing bomb" recovered by the RAF and is now in the RAF museum. If you call the RAF museum and ask them about the "dummy bomb" recovered from Ullswater they will say "What bomb?". It doesn't exist. It never has existed. I have the complete sonar scans of the entire area where the Lancaster is supposed to be and there's not a Lancaster there. In short...... No Lancaster in Ullswater....... It's just a story and it's not true. I don't really want to piss on anyones parade here about this specific aircraft but I'm going to anyway. If someone would like to step up and tell me they have dived a Lancaster in Ullswater then I would like them to point the site out to me on my sonar pictures. Ullswater was used to test small seaplanes at the begining of the war as the AEEE (Aircraft Experimental and Evaluation Establishment) was based there. In 1941 it moved. Sorry guys but all the hunting for a Lancaster in Ullswater will reveal nothing. And I've just suddenly realised that I have already answered this one. Anyway, there's more info here. :D :D Steve
to the late & great SteveCT - thanks for the help - your attention to detail and accuracy in your work will not be forgotten. r.i.p dear bud.
Getting to the 'supposed' engine is more difficult on foot. As you need to walk along the path until you can see two orange marker poles in the water which indicate a pinnacle just below the water line. As we understand it, enter from this bay and head around the rock face on your right - photo (c). Heading out over the rock formations dropping down to 34 metres. Somewhere along this stretch called Geordies Crag, is supposedly the last engine. No one knew about this aircraft except for a small handful of divers. We revisited this site from a long held memory that proved fruitless to date, for us. Hope you have fun with the dive and if you find the engine let us know the location please - because we are still hunting!!
Hazards to Divers
Those going for the deeper wreck site should bear in mind that this is an altitude dive.
Mobile Phones appear to be temperamental. You can call out, but if you move your head just slightly you can lose the signal.
Diving at Sandwick Bay by Freshwaterdiver