Dive for Peace Day 28 June 2014
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 was a “Dive for Peace Day” organized worldwide on 28 June 2014. It was supported by dive clubs and dive institutions worldwide.
This event was open to every diver from professional to occasional and leisure divers. On that specific day, divers were 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 were invited to refrain from any behavior that may cause damage or pollution to the underwater cultural heritage during their visit. Emphasis was put on respectful, cautious and appropriate behavior towards this heritage, its meaning and its character as heritage site, but also as grave site.
Divers were encouraged to document their participation with images, videos, and first-hand accounts and make them available online, as well as in dive clubs worldwide.
News on the UNESCO Dive for Peace Day - 28 June 2014
The Konstanz Sport Diving Club visited the remains of a floating Zeppelin hangar on Lake Constance, Germany. The 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.
NAS’ visit will be to 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 will be visiting his grave on the Thursday 26th to lay some flowers and then dive the site on the Saturday 28 June as part of the UNESCO Dive for Peace Day.
NAS will be filming the event - see on Twitter @LostBeneathWave #LostBeneath
Divers will be swimming 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