Overview

Rathlin is an L-shaped island off the Antrim coast in Northern Ireland. It has some great diving, but can be wildly tidal – be warned!

Club contacts

Ian Marnane organised a trip here in Easter 2010

Boats

Launch at the ferry terminal in Ballycastle, where there’s a great, wide slip. Drive to Rathlin, and moor in the harbour there, where there’s a pontoon.

Sites

There are some worthwhile wrecks, and many scenic sites to be dived in the area. See the following:

S.S. Lochgarry

She started out as the Vulture, built in Glasgow in 1898. In 1929 she was re-named as “Lairdstock”. In 1937 she was finally re-named “Lochgarry”. During WWII she was converted to a Government Transport ship and was involved in the Dunkirk evacuation. In 1942 on a trip from Glasgow to Oban to collect a group of soldiers bound for the Faroes she struck rocks off the Mull of Kintyre. Drifting helplessly she finally went down off the East coast of Rathlin Island.

 

The North-West cliffs

There are huge drop-offs around the island, with depths of 200m not far from shore. At the north-west corner of the island, there are steep cliffs that continue under water. Tides running into the cliffs can generate strong up and down-currents, so back off from the rock if you’re getting swirled around.

Safety

Tides, tides, tides.

Local Facilities

Dive centre

Aquaholics – www.aquaholics.org

Shops, Pub – Rathlin

In Church Bay, there’s a small shop that has very limited opening hours. Check the sign in the window for times.

There’s a pub with an ATM. It’s open on Good Fridays if you’re planning an Easter trip.

Accommodation

Holiday houses can be rented on the island itself.

More info

Getting there

Put Dublin -> Ballycastle, Moyle into the AA route planner, and it’ll tell you all you want to know. The Rathlin ferry website is at www.rathlinballycastleferry.com.

 

Location

55° 17′ 32.3268″ N, 6° 11′ 34.5912″ W