By boat from Ballycastle. The Shamrock Pinnacle is found approx. 10km north west of Bull Point, Rathlin Island.
Ballycastle Harbour has a gated slipway (open during office hours) and pontoon berthing (fees apply). For use contact the Ballycastle Harbour Office: 02820768525 / 07803505984. Free car parking is available above the harbour and marina. Free public toilets are available in the visitor information office above the harbour.
Nearest tank filling is Aquaholics in Ballycastle or Portstewart (ring ahead: 028 7083 2584)
- Very strong tides that can easilly sweep divers off the pinnacle if the dive is mistimed.
- Small pinnacle with steep walls on all sides – divers must have delayed surface marker buoys and other signalling equipment.
- Vigilant boat cover required as tide likely to be running when divers are ascending.
- Divers should be comfortable with free ascents and doing safety/deco stops while drifting.
- The pinnacle should be shotted prior to the dive to ensure that the desired depth is obtained, to check the tidal flow and to provide a reference point for divers.
Shamrock Pinnacle is one of a series of submerged pinnacles lying between Scotland and Northern Ireland. It is approximately 10km north-west of Rathlin Island. The minimum depth of the pinnacle is 15 m below chart datum (BCD) with the majority being deeper than 30 m. The north side of the pinnacle is a sheer wall which drops to over 140 m, the south and east faces slopes more gradually to around 75 m before a similarly sheer wall. The pinnacle is situated in the full flow of the North Channel tidal stream, experiencing up to 3 knots of tidal current on spring tides. At the position given (on the north-west corner) there is a small stack which is covered in plumose anemones. Information about diving around Shamrock Pinnacle is available from the Shamrock Pinnacle Survey Report 2009-2011
The bedrock of the pinnacle is strongly tide-swept. It is dominated by hardy species such as the oaten pipe hydroid Tubularia indivisa, dead men’s fingers Alcyonium digitatum, and the elephant hide sponge Pachymatisma johnstonia. Species of particular interest include the sea squirt Synoicum incrustatum and the white cluster anemone Parazoanthus anguicomus
- 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 Harbour Office No. 028 207 68525 Mobile Number 07803 505084
- When navigating within Ballycastle Harbour, use VHF Channel 80.