Diving the Tarbarka


The Tarbarka was sunk to protect the entrance of Scapa Flow from enemy submarines, it now rests in the strong tides of Burra Sound. The fast current nourishes a rich array of a fascinating life that plasters the sides of the wreck with a riot of colour and adds excitement to a dive that explores this unturned ship.

The Tabarka was seized at Falmouth in 1940 by the British Navy. She is a single screw steamer that was sailed under her own power and sunk as a blockship in Kirk Sound.

As the construction of the Churchill Barriers was coming along nicely it was decided to re-float her, and move her to her present position in Burra Sound.

The Tarbarka Dive Guide

The Tabarka lies upside down in approximately 12 meters of water.

This is a negative entry dive. The shallowest part of the wreck rises up to as little as 6 meters from the surface. There are many holes along the sides where she was blasted during the scuttling and a large section near the bows has now fallen through.

The main areas of interest are the boulders that were loaded into the vessel to help her sink. The second is the three huge boilers that have dropped from their mountings, as you pass by the boilers you come to the steam engine with its huge pistons and con rods.
This is a lovely dive with crystal clear water with rays of light penetrating through the wreck.

The Tabarka remains in divers’ memories long after they leave the water and becomes the subject of many tall fireside tales that grow longer with the telling!

Even though this wreck is in Scapa Flow, if you want to dive the Tarbarka with me, or wrecks with me in the beautiful Pembrokeshire waters, feel free to join our dive club called BSAC Scavenger Dive Boat Club. Also, find us on Facebook here.

For all other diving related fun please check out my diving pages here.

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