Press Release

12 October 2010 - Plymouth, England

ProMare supports the SHIPS Project

Plymouth in Devon has a long and varied maritime history that stretches back to the arrival of the first humans in the south-west of England. The evidence of this can be seen on land in its buildings, monuments, docks and harbours but there is also much to be found on the shoreline and underwater. The waters of Plymouth Sound and the adjoining rivers have seen hundreds of maritime events, accidents and disasters; some witnessed and recorded but many more happened unseen and undocumented. In 2009 the SHIPS Project (Shipwrecks and History in Plymouth Sound) was started by a group of shipwreck enthusiasts and divers in Plymouth with the aim of recording the maritime history of the area.

Earlier this year the SHIPS Project was adopted by a US non-profit research organisation called ProMare who have recently set up their UK base of operations in Plymouth. ProMare was formed in 2001 and already operates in the USA, Italy and Norway helping set up and run maritime archaeology projects. The SHIPS Project is now the flagship project for ProMare UK; already it has helped with a number of shipwreck investigations, geophysical surveys run by students at the University of Plymouth, historical research and in the development and hosting of web sites.

A significant aspect of the SHIPS project has been in recording and identifying finds recovered by divers from the waters around Plymouth, already this has unearthed two Greco-Roman anchors, ten stone anchors as well as some artefacts recovered from designated shipwrecks. Once the finds have been recorded they are returned to the finder and the information about the finds is published on the SHIPS Project web site so it can be used by historians and researchers all over the world.

Much the work used to collect information for the SHIPS Project is done by local dive groups so providing advice and training are important parts of the SHIPS Project. We provide informal advice and guidance about what to do when you find something underwater but we can also provide formal training using the Nautical Archaeology Society (NAS) training scheme. In 2011 we hope to be able to offer fieldwork opportunities on our own projects to visiting archaeologists, divers and researchers, dates for fieldwork weekends and field schools will be posted on the SHIPS Project web site.

If you would like to help the SHIPS Project then please get in touch. We are already helping co-ordinate fieldwork done by a number of groups in this area so if you have a team of divers looking for a diving or intertidal project then we would like to help. If you have any interesting finds recovered from this part of Devon we would like the opportunity to record and photograph them. We would also like to hear from the many shipwreck experts and historians who have done research into the maritime history and ship losses in Plymouth.

Join the SHIPS Project on facebook:

The SHIPS Project is a organised by ProMare UK and 3H Consulting Ltd.

Contact: Peter Holt, Project Manager, SHIPS Project