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Shipwreck the Bowbelle or Bom Rei is known for its tragedy on the river Thames in England when it rammed a passenger boat.

Name Dive Site:Bowbelle, Bom Rei
Depth: 22-32m (72-104ft)
Inserted/Added by: lars, © Author: Lars Hemel

Rated 5.0, 3 votes

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One of the most popular wreck dives in Madeira is the Bowbelle, later renamed as Bom Rei. Its story starts with a huge tragedy when it rammed the 26 meter long private birthday boat called the Marchioness. It was the 20th of August 1989 on the river Thames in London that many young attendees died in the confusion that followed. The tragedy was all over the news but eventually the skipper was acquitted by the jury.

The 90 meter long sand dredger Bowbelle was sold to Madeira one year later where it was reborn under the name of Bom Rei. It was roughly 6 years later, on the 25th of March 1996, that it split in two offshore Ponto do Sol. It was fully loaded, working during normal dredging operations but in very rough weather. It was found after 6 months of intensive searching, situated at a depth of 32 meter and very well intact. You can visit the vacuum head, there are several chains and many ripped off pipes. Those who are certified to enter the wreck can find lifejackets and have to be careful of stirred-up silt. Most of the marine life can be found around the bow, not much is near the propeller. You can see all sorts of fish, but the thing that keeps you busy while diving here is how it must be like for those who died.

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