Eastbourne Drift Dives

There are many different types of Drift Dives that can be undertaken on the reefs and wrecks off Eastbourne with depths anything from 8m to 30m depending on what has been planned. There are opportunities to collect shellfish like Scallops and catch Crabs, Lobsters, and flatfish like Plaice, Turbot and Sole. Sometimes the odd WW2 20mm Machine Gun round case is found while drifting over the Royal Sovereign Shoals. You never know when you might bump into a Cuttlefish.

Eastbourne Reef Drift Dives

Royal Sovereign Shoals


The Royal Sovereign Shoals is the largest reef that can be found off Eastbourne and is the reason for the Royal Sovereign Light House being built. The shoal stretches for about 2.5 miles East to West and undulates between 22m and 10m with a large area only 7m below the surface. As seabed becomes shallower, the tide speeds up. For drifts on the floodtide divers are dropped off the about mile off the shoals so their approach is from 22m. For drift dives starting on the ebbtide divers are dropped off in 10m on the reef hit 22m

Long Shoal


Long Shoal is not as shallow as the other shoals but can be an interesting dive with odd bits to see stuck in the gullies. Some areas have stone ballistic balls that must have sunk on the way to support the siege of Pevensey Bay Castle in the late 1100. If you go to Pevensey Bay Castle, you will see stacks of them recovered from the mote.

Horse Willingdon, Elphick Tree and Kinsman’s Nab


There is much sea life to see round these three seabed features and it changes with the year seasons as different species move in shore and off again.

The Horse of Winllingdon is a rocky reef with 2 pinnacles which the tide on the ebb or flood will sweep you round. This rocky reef stretches for about a mile East to West. Drift dives are 18m to 10m.

Elphick Tree is another rocky reef but not as big or a high as the Horse of Winllingdon. Drift dives are 18m to 10m.

Kinsman’s Nab is East of the Horse of Winllingdon has a rocky bottom which is swept by the tide being deflected round the East end of the Horse of Winllingdon. This area can provide a swift dive of over an ever-changing bottom. Drift dives are 20m to 12m

Eastbourne Wreck Drift Dives


There are many wrecks that can be successfully drift dived and provide the opportunity to pick up some scallops, crabs or even a lobster if you are quick enough.

Some of the wrecks that can be drift dived:

  • HMS Ariadne [+1917] 17m to 20m drift
  • HMT Dagon [+1916] 17m to 20m drift
  • SS Oceana [+1912] 26m to 27m drift
  • SS F. D. Lambert [+1917] 26m to 27m drift

See Eastbourne Wrecks for details