For the first time, divers and non-divers alike can experience and explore the protected historic wreck site HMS Colossus without getting wet! Historic England has commissioned a virtual wreck discovery trail for HMS Colossus – a 74 gun warship which sank off the Isles of Scilly in 1798.
The virtual trail mirrors the underwater dive trail that was created for HMS Colossus in 2009, where more than 2,300 licensed divers have explored the wreck by following a map of 12 numbered dive stations.
The interactive dive trail includes a 3D site plan, video of the underwater dive trail and plans and photographs of the wreck site. There are also facilities for visiting divers to leave comments, photographs and video of their visits on the site. The virtual trail has been designed to work on smartphones as well as on conventional computers.
Alison James, Maritime Archaeologist at Historic England said: “The Colossus virtual discovery trail has been designed to provide a better experience for visiting divers and enable them to provide feedback on their visit to the site. We hope they will share their photographs and video and that these can be incorporated into the new virtual trail.”
Alison James continued: “Protected wreck sites are as much part of our national heritage as castles and country houses but are not as widely accessible! This new virtual dive trail opens up our underwater heritage to many more people and encourages greater understanding and recognition of England’s historic wrecks.”
The virtual discovery trail was produced for Historic England by independent archaeologists Kevin Camidge and Tom Goskar. Project Manager Kevin Camidge said: “The new virtual dive trail brings the site alive and includes a ‘diver’s eye view’ video of the whole dive trail, which gives the non-diver a pretty good idea of what it’s like to dive the site.”