By boat from Rathlin or Ballycastle. The site is approx. 3km west of Rathlin Harbour beneath the cliffs at Damicornis Bay.
Rathlin Harbour has pontoons for around 40 boats. Water and electricity are available on the pontoon but there is no reliable source of fuel. Public toilets are available in Church Bay between the harbour and the pub, near the playground.
Ballycastle Harbour has a gated slipway (open during office hours) and pontoon berthing. Free car parking is available above the harbour and marina. Free public toilets are available in the visitor information office above the harbour.
Berthing fees apply for both Rathlin and Ballycastle Harbour Office; for use of either, contact the Ballycastle Harbour Office: 02820768525 / 07803505984.
Nearest tank filling is Aquaholics in Ballycastle or Portstewart (ring ahead: 028 7083 2584)
Strong tidal currents, eddies and overfalls occur all around Rathlin Island
The site is narrow and steep sided, bounded by sheer boulder slopes with small cobbles and gravel that rapidly drop down to approx. 70 metres depth.
This site is considered to be a site of particularly high conservation importance due to the presence of a large number of rare species and in particular, a diversity of sponges, including Hymedesmia rathlinia and Tethya hibernica, both Northern Ireland Priority Species and for which Rathlin is a stronghold. Hydoids and the Devonshire cup coral Caryophyllia smithii dominate the large boulder slope and many nudibranch species are found here, including the rare Doto sarsiae and Facelina annulicornis. More common species include the rugose squat lobster Munida rugosa and Ross coral Pentapora foliacea.
View all species records from this siteA 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
Rathlin Island Dive Expedition 2019
Rathlin Harbour Info
Northern Ireland Marine MapViewer
- In an emergency call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.
- Follow VHF radio Channel 16 (156.8 MHz), the international distress frequency. Send a distress alert followed by ‘MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY’ and ‘This is [boat name]’.
- Find nearest defibrillator (AED) here.
- Ballycastle/Rathlin Harbour Office No. 028 207 68525 Mobile Number 07803 505084
- When navigating within Ballycastle or Rathlin Harbour, use VHF Channel 80.
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