By boat from Rathlin or Ballycastle. The site is approximately 500m SW Rathlin Harbour and a few metres NNW of HMS Drake (marked with a yellow buoy). Due to their close proximity confusion can arise as to which site you are at, therefore look out for ‘Ella Hewitt’ on the bow of the ship.
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)
- The trawl bobbins have potential to be an entanglement hazard.
- Boat traffic between Rathlin and Ballycastle.
The wreck is partially buried under the seabed, which is made up of clay with a layer of sand on top
Date of loss 03/11/1962. A British steam fishing trawler operating out of Fleetwood and owned by Heward Trawlers Ltd., London. LBD: 51.84 x 8.94 x 2.59. 595 tonnes. Ran aground on the wreck of the HMS Drake, a Royal Navy armoured cruiser, which had sunk in 1916. It had become a tradition for these fishing boats to call at Rathlin before heading to fishing grounds. The wreck of the Ella Hewitt and Drake were later dispersed with explosives by the Royal Navy. There is still substantial wreckage from both vessels on the seafloor. The wreck of the Ella Hewitt falls with the protected scheduled area of HMS Drake. Diving within the scheduled area is permitted on a ‘look but do not touch’ basis.
Information derived from Historic Environment Record of Northern Ireland (HERoNI), Department for Communities, Historic Environment Division.
The species composition of the seabed that surrounds the wreck is the same as that described from the HMS Drake: sand gobies, the burrowing anemone Cerianthus lloydii and the slender sea pen Virgularia mirabilis (a Northern Ireland Priority Species).
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
- 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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