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Protected Wreck Sites


For centuries ships have been grounded along the shores of the Solent. Many wrecks were caused by adverse weather and careless navigation.  A number of known and designated wreck sites exist in the Solent; these are protected under the Protection of Wrecks Act, 1973 and include:

The Solent has a rich coastal heritage - both above and below the water. Visitors on land can discover the information on conventional leaflets and interpretation panels and boats can sail to yellow buoys marking shipwrecks in the Solent. Calling a dedicated phone number relays a message about the wreck beneath them. Divers can take the information on diving slates with them underwater. The New Forest National Park's Coastal Heritage project studied 51 miles (82km) of coastline between Southampton and the Dorset border and up to six nautical miles off-shore. Thought to be the first in the UK to include shipwrecks in this way, the trail takes in four wrecks dating from 1881 through to 1978. There is evidence of human activity along the Solent coast dating back 125,000 years. The trail takes in prehistoric activity and also charts local industries from salt works to shipbuilding as well as smuggling and national defence.