Wreck of the Barnard Castle
Image courtesy of: www.bcarchives.bc.ca
Location: Resting in Pilot Bay on Bentinck Island, east of Pedder Bay Marina
Type: Boat dive
GPS: 48° 10' 18.7", 123° 42' 32.84"
History: The Barnard Castle was an iron steam screw collier built in 1878 in England, 260 ft. (79 m.)long, and able to carry 2500 tons of cargo. The ship carried grain and cattle between Liverpool and New York, and reputedly coal from England to the Near East. In 1879 she ferried troops and supplies for Chile in the war against Peru. She came to British Columbia in 1881 when R. Dunsmuir & Sons chartered her to run coal from Nanaimo to San Francisco. They bought her outright in October 1886. This steamer hit Rosedale Reef on November 2, 1886 but managed to limp to Bentinck Island where it sank in Pilot Bay. Many salvage attempts were made to raise the wreck, but unfortuatly all failed. In 1992 the Underwater Archaeological Society of British Columbia (UASBC) completed an underwater interpretive trail around the wreck placing eight plaques at various points of interest along the wreck. Each of these plaques describes a particular artifact along with a map showing your current location.
Above Water: The wreck is marked with a buoy.
Underwater: This wreck is well worth the dive. Even though it has been down for more than 120 years, it is quite impressive and allows for an abundance of photographic oportunities. The boilers, stern, and bow sections are still intact as well as numerous other artifacts in the area. The bottom depth is quite shallow maxing out at 40 ft. (12 m.)
Hazards: Very Little
Dive Charter Operators