East side aircraft
History and Layout
Only 20 metres east of the runway, just north of the rock groyne, lies the wreck of a four-engined plane. It sits in only 2 metres of water and is upright, facing out to the sea.
The aluminium fuselage has a top gun turret and the cockpit is open. Two of engines are still in their housings on the wings and a third lies just out from the wreck. A steel cable attached to the wreck indicates that it may have been dragged there during WWII, in order to clear the runway.
We first dived the site in August 2001, when most of the front part of the aircraft was exposed and a survey of the remains was started. Subsequent dives, however, found that the sand had shifted and only the tops of the propeller blades were visible.
Preliminary comparisons suggest it could be a Liberator or a Halifax, but there is insufficient detail at the moment. We continue to monitor the site and hope to identify it in due course.
Diving the Site
When uncovered, this is a nice wreck. People interested in aircraft may wish to check and may do so by going in off the groyne with a mask and snorkel, to see what’s showing. When using an aqualung, it is easier to walk in off the beach and swim round the groyne, as the rock slope is awkward with heavy kit.
Avoid the site in strong easterlies, when the swell is uncomfortable and be aware that you are close to Spanish waters. Before diving the site, get clearance from the duty air traffic controller on 53383. Otherwise, you may find that the Services Police will pay you a visit.
Extract courtesy of D. Fa. & P. Smith: Underwater Gibraltar - A Guide to the Rocks Submerged Sites.
East side aircraft fuselage.