Dive for Peace Day 2014-2018

©Harun Ozdas


The Meeting of States Parties to the UNESCO 2001 Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage decided to organize special remembrance and scientific activities devoted to underwater cultural heritage from World War I on the occasion of the conflict’s Centenary. A special public event in this regard is a “Dive for Peace Day” organized worldwide on 28 June from 2014 to 2018. It is supported by dive clubs and dive institutions worldwide.

This event is open to every diver from professional to occasional and leisure divers. On that specific day (or a date close by taking into account weather and water conditions), divers are encouraged to take part in commemorative dives to discover the submerged material legacy of the First World War.

Tangible heritage sites and their artefacts represent a unique access to the past and allow enhancing knowledge and understanding. World War I underwater cultural sites bear witness of human tragedies generated by this international conflict and remind humanity of the need to preserve peace. Many of them are however today threatened by treasure-hunting and metal recovery. The visits to significant submerged World War I sites called attention to this situation.

Divers are invited to refrain from any behavior that may cause damage or pollution to the underwater cultural heritage during their visit. Emphasis is put on respectful, cautious and appropriate behavior towards this heritage, its meaning and its character as heritage site, but also as grave site.

Divers are encouraged to document their participation with images, videos, and first-hand accounts and make them available online, as well as in dive clubs worldwide.


Examples of UNESCO Dive for Peace Day Activities:


The Konstanz Sport Diving Club visited the remains of a floating Zeppelin hangar on Lake Constance, Germany. They located what they believe to be the remains of a concrete guardhouse. Read more about about the trip and see photos here

On 24 October 2014, in the context of Dive for Peace day, a dive was organised on the Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse wreck. Sunk off Dakhla, Morocco, the ship was the first German Navy battleship lost during World War I. Find out more about the Kaisser Wilhelm der Grosse wreck and the dive here.

CMAS also organized an international exploration expedition ‘CMAS Dive for Peace’ in the North Sea from 21th of August until 6th of September 2016. The Expedition under the wing of the UNESCO was centered on the research of the wreckage of warships sunk during the Battle of Jutland in 1916. More information is available here.

Nautical Archaeology Society

NAS’ visited the wreck of HMT (Trawler) Abelard lost in Plymouth Sound, Devon on 24 December 1916. It is possible that she hit a mine but this is not certain. Mr Phillip Sydney Lamberton was on board when the Aberland sank and died 4 days later in hospital.  He is buried in Weston Mill cemetery in Plymouth. See here. NAS visited his grave on the 26th to lay some flowers and then dive the site on the 28th of June as part of the UNESCO Dive for Peace Day.

NAS filmed the event - available on Twitter @LostBeneathWave #LostBeneath

Seaproof TV and Dive Industry Association of British Colombia

Divers swam around a site that is relevant to UNESCO's cause followed by a BBQ lunch alongside the former HMCS Annapolis. The day will serve to promote a remembrance of World War I, but also WWII.

Send your photos and events organized for the UNESCO Dive for Peace Day to - a.neves(at)unesco.org

Dive for Peace Day - 5 and 6 November 2016

The upcoming Dive for Peace Day will be taking place in Cabo Verde this 5th and 6th of November in memory of Acary and Guahyba, two Brasilian ships that were torpedoed in November of 1917 at Porto Grande, São Vicente. This event is open to all divers. Divers are encouraged once again to take part in commemorative dives and to discover the submerged material legacy of the First World War.


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