Effects Of Winter Storms On Seabed Revealed

colossus wreck photoIslanders are very aware of the impact of last winter’s severe storms on the landscape, particularly the flooding around Periglis and Little Porth, as well as significant damage to St Mary’s Quay.

But the Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority has heard a first-hand account of how the exceptional conditions have affected Scilly’s seascape.

That’s led to calls for current conditions to be recorded so any future undersea change will be recognised.

St Martin’s diver Tim Allsop told the meeting last Thursday that sizeable rocks had been split by the powerful sea swells.

And under the surface, the accommodation block of the 1997 Cita shipwreck has been shunted around 50 feet from its former site. Tim says that’s amazing considering it weighs around 40 to 50 tonnes.

Tim says shipwrecks can move in storms but not to the extent he’s seen this winter. And as many of these sites are slowly disintegrating, the damage has been accelerated.

The storms have altered the shores too. Tim says so much material has come off the beach on St Martin’s that it’s dropped several feet and buried the nearby sea grass beds outside the moorings at Higher Town.

Tim wants to record the current state of the beds and monitor their recovery.

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