'Anchor graveyard' up to 200 years old discovered off Guernsey coastline

  • Report by ITV Channel's Roisin Gauson

Divers in Guernsey sent to investigate why lobster pots were being repeatedly snagged have discovered a pile of more than 60 anchors left abandoned on the seabed.

It's thought some have been there for more than 200 years.

Fisherman Stephen Fallaize reported the ongoing problem and thought it may have been a shipwreck:

“For the last 30 years plus, I’ve been getting hooked in this piece of wreckage – or what I thought was a piece of wreckage – so one day, I got badly hooked – a new pot and a different friend dived on it – and when he got my pot he just said there are four or five anchors."

As it was an unusual find, a group of diving enthusiasts then went to investigate, discovering the remaining pile.

Diver, Jenny Warry, says some of the anchors are bigger than humans:

“I went down and lay on one of the big anchors that were on the ground and actually sort of, face down, arms like that, legs out behind me and just sort of lay down on it and I couldn’t reach either end, so that gives an example of the size we’re looking at."

Adding to the mystery is the fact that no shipwrecks have been reported in the area, which is 35 metres of water to the north of Lihou. 

Amateur historian, Jean-Paul Fallaize, says other finds in the area could help date it:

“A bit of pottery which was found fairly close was a bit of spongewear, popular we think around the 1850s from possibly Glasgow, so we think the anchors might be from the North of the UK heading somewhere, probably down to the continent."

The question remains what happened out there that led to an anchor graveyard being left at the bottom of the sea all those years ago.