The Persier

A nice little wreck dive, this was done in March with dry suits on a calm day. A descent of about 25m down a shot line will lead you to the wreck or nearby reef (hopefully!). There is lots of life to be found on both the reefs and on the wreck, including snap and fan corals, urchins, starfish, crabs and assorted fish.

Previously known as the War Buffalo, the S.S. Persier is a sad tale, one of the many tragedies of WWII. A large Belgian freighter of some 5800 tons, it was torpedoed like many other ships. In short, the crew abandoned ship but the propellers started again and chewed one of the lifeboats. Later the ship was seen floating off into the night, disappearing forever out of history until the 1960's when divers discovered the wreck. It has now become one of the most popular wreck dives along this coastline, whether your boat has come from Salcombe or Plymouth.


When many other dive sites are blown out, Bigbury Bay can provide some shelter and generally the visibility on the wreck is very good. I have seen bad visibility only on one occasion but perhaps we've been lucky. On many occasions the visibility can reach 10-15m, and it's probably due to the location, depth and the bottom composition of bright white sand.

Depths: 28 metres (92 feet)

Tonnage:> 5832 Tons Position: 50°17.115N; 03°58.13W (Bigbury Bay, Devon)

Visibility: 5 - 8 metres (15 - 25 feet)

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Smudger - June 2010