Trip to Louis Sheid

Written by Chenjun Liu

On the 21st of April 2024, four divers from UBUC completed a fantastic dive trip and trained as sport divers with three instructors.

We explored the wreck of the Louis Shied. In the early morning of 7 December 1939, the Louis Shied, on its way back to Antwerp, discovered the wreck of the wrecked freighter Tajandoen, which had sunk off the south coast of Devon, and together with the Italian ship Georgio Ohlsen, managed to rescue some 40 survivors, all of whom were transferred to the Louis Sheid for transport back to Antwerp. All survivors were transferred to the Louis Sheid for transport back to Antwerp. The Louis Sheid then ran aground on a reef in Thurlestone Bay in heavy rain and bad weather. Today, the wreck is exposed at low tide and is a very shallow and picturesque wreck to explore.

Thurlestone Bay of the day

It takes about two and a half hours to reach Thurlestone carpark from Bristol. The pay and display car park is next to the beach, about 100 metres from the stairs to the beach, but when loading and unloading gear you can park alongside the stairs to make it easier to carry, and the driveway, although narrow, doesn’t have a lot of cars going past, so there is limited impact on traffic.

Boiler of the wreck.

It takes about a 200 (around the rocks) metre swim from the shore to reach the top of the wreck, which is physically demanding. At low tide the wreck is about 8 metres underwater. The keel, chimney, and other equipment of the wreck can be seen underwater. This was my first wreck dive, and I was not able to fully distinguish every part of the wreck. However, the experience was remarkable, besides the huge wreck, the marine life living on the wreck was fascinating, Ballan wrasse, lobsters, king crabs, and other marine animals I didn’t recognise were living on the wreck.

King crab living in the Wreck.

The training went very well, thank you very much to the three instructors Sam, Jon and Ben! Maya and I were first-time sports divers in open water training, we completed two disciplines and Dominic will be a qualified sports diver at the end of this training, let’s congratulate them and hope to see them in the wider ocean! Let’s congratulate them and hope to see them in the wider ocean.

Sandy ground.

In my country, there is a proverb: this happiness is the same, this sadness of thousands of kinds. There are also some downsides to Thurlestone Bay’s journey that cannot be ignored. For one thing, there aren’t any changing rooms or even public restrooms, so most people choose to change their clothes directly on the beach. The nearest cafe is far away, and some say the food there is expensive. Since it’s a beach, it’s inevitable that you’ll get a lot of sand on your gear, which may clog your regulator or stick to the outside of your wetsuit. When we got back to the dive shop we did a lot of cleaning to make sure the sand didn’t damage any of the gear.

Thurlestone Bay’s Sunset

All in all, it was an exciting trip. I will remember the smiling faces of the people here, the feeling of the sea breeze on my face, and of course the brave and tragic Louis Sheid, and I look forward to the next trip.