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Dalriada Pier


Average score: 3

Site name: Dalriada Pier
Location: Descriptive location referring to nearest landfall i.e. town, village, harbour or island
Type: Describes whether this dive site can be dived from the shore, from a boat, or both
Wreck: Dive sites which include a shipwreck (or part of a shipwreck) are labelled with a ‘Yes’
Min. dive depth (m): The approximate minimum depth of the dive given in metres
Max. dive depth (m): The approximate maximum depth of the dive given in metres

Max. seabed depth (m): The maximum depth of the seabed at the site taken from the intersect between the dive site point and the depth contour on an Admiralty Standard Nautical Chart

Diving experience (min level): The recommended minimum level of diving experience for a specific site, described as Novice (<50 dives in temperate/cold waters and minimum certification of PADI Open/Advanced Open Water, BSAC Ocean Diver or CMAS 1 star), Intermediate (50-100 dives in temperate/cold waters and minimum certification of PADI Rescue Dive, BSAC Sports Dive or CMAS 2 star) or Advanced (>250 dives in temperate/cold waters and minimum certification of PADI Divemaster, BSAC Dive Leader or CMAS 3 star

Optimal wind direction: The general wind direction which causes minimal exposure at the site, corresponding to 8 points of the compass: North (N), North East (NE), East (E, South East (SE), South (S), South West (SW), West, North West (NW)

Exposure: The approximate level of exposure to wind and wave action at the site on any given day, described as Sheltered (inshore sites surrounded by a form of shelter on all sides), Moderate (sites which are partially sheltered) or Exposed (sites with little to no shelter)

Tidal strength: Anecdotal description of tidal strength at the site

Marine Protected Area: A Yes or No highlighting whether or not the site occurs within a Marine Protected Area

Visibility: Anecdotal description of the typical underwater visibility at the site
Good (up to 10m)
Best time to dive: Anecdotal recommendation for the best time to dive the site for optimal underwater conditions. This typically relates to the stage of the tide
HW slack Red Bay. This is a very shallow site and access is difficult at LW.
Getting There: Directions for getting to the site

By car, take the turning off the Glenariffe Road onto Dalriada Avenue. Follow the road to the end and parking is available in the lay-by above the pier. From here you can access the shore from beneath the slipway. There are three areas to explore from the entry point: (1) rocky gullies to the north of the pier, (2) rocky gullies to the south of the pier (recommended for avoiding anglers) or (3) seagrass bed directly off the pier at ~7 metres depth.

Facilities: Details of nearest facilities to dive site i.e. public car parking and toilets, slipways etc

Free car parking available on the lay-by adjacent to the pier. Be careful not to obstruct resident’s access. Nearest toilets/showers at Cushendall Sailing and Boating Club.

Nearest tank filling is Aquaholics, Portstewart/Ballycastle (call in advance: 028 7083 2584)

Hazards: Anecdotal information on possible hazards at the site for divers and snorkellers

  • Recreational boating out of Cushendall or Dalriada Piers.
  • This is a popular site for shore angling, so there is a possibly risk of entanglement in fishing gear.
  • Occasionally strong north – south current.
  • Don’t go too far around the corner to the north (leading round to Cushendall beach), as there can be a strong counter current here when the tide begins to run.
  • If diving to the south of the pier, be aware of the sewage pipe leading out from the caravan park!
Description: A general description of the physical features of the dive site

There are many rocky gullies to explore on both the north and south sides of the pier. As you move off the rocks and away from the shore, you come to a sandy, gravelly, seabed with patches of seagrass. There are also some parts of small boat wreckage on the seabed near the pier. This is a great site for novice divers and snorkellers.

Biodiversity: A description of the species composition at the site. Species of interest are highlighted. Follow the links for more information about the species on the NBN Atlas Northern Ireland website

Various crustacean, sea squirt, nudibranch and starfish (incl. the common starfish Asterias rubens and the spiny starfish Marthasterias glacialis) are found amongst the gullies to the north. These are covered in pink encrusting algae. There is a seagrass Zostera marina bed off Dalriada pier on a sandy seabed. Seagrass is a priority marine habitat, which provides an important nursery ground for many species, including a variety of fish, which can be seen here.

View all species records from this site

A link to the dive site location on the NBN Atlas Northern Ireland website, showing all species records from within a 1km boundary of the site centroid. Any new species records from the site submitted to Seasearch, iRecord, CEDaR Online Recording or iNaturalist will appear here
Local Charters: A link to the website for the nearest Dive Centre to the site. A map of all dive centres is provided under ‘Go Diving’


Environmental and Historical Designations: A list of any environmental or historical designations attributed to the site, or overlapping it. Follow the link for more information

More Information: Links to additional information found online for the dive site

Rockpool, snorkel and dive guide CCGHT

Northern Ireland Marine MapViewer

Safety: Safety tips

  • In an emergency call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.
  • Follow VHF radio Channel 16 (156.8 MHz), the international distress frequency.
  • Find nearest defibrillator (AED) here
Latitude, Longitude: The approximate XY coordinates for the dive site in Decimel Degrees (DD). These can be converted to DMS or DDM by following the link below
55.080299, -6.052361

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