A truly sad day for British diving – the popular charter dive boat Wey Chieftain IV has ceased operations out of Weymouth.
In a post on the Wey Chieftain IV Facebook page, owner/skipper Richard Bright-Paul stated:
“It is with mixed emotions that I today announce the cessation of Wey Chieftain IV operations out of Weymouth harbour. I bought the vessel in 2011 in large part to retain this top-notch platform in the harbour that was two decades ago the UK’s leading dive destination. With the retirement of Tango’s skipper in September, Wey Chieftain IV was sadly the last remaining commercial dive charter vessel in the port.
“The journey these past 12 years has been ever challenging, occasionally daunting yet often rewarding. My respect for those who master this craft has grown further. It is a skilled profession with no formal training programme in place. In effect us skippers are like technical divers diving off an Ocean Diver ticket, so choose your skipper wisely. I’d like to think we provided a broad spectrum of diving opportunities, many exploratory, leading to discoveries that included Chasseur 7, Precurseur, HMS D1, the Brandy Wreck and a number of other 17th-19th century cannon sites. Most importantly, we brought everyone home safely and as ship’s captain I can say with a degree of pride, but mostly relief, that nobody got hurt on my watch. (Except me on occasion!).
“I’d like to thank everyone who chose to dive with us, my loyal crew and superior half Sue, as well as the vast network of specialist suppliers who helped keep the boat running. Though I had interest from many sectors, I’m pleased to say the vessel will remain a dive platform operating out of Milford Haven. Best of luck to Matt and Dave of Pembrokeshire Boat Charters and all that sail with them. I hope I will still get to sea with many of our diving friends as we retire gracefully back to the dive deck.”
Old Harbour Dive Centre are still operating their Evolution dive vessel X-Dream from Weymouth. It is coded for 12 divers and has a tail lift for easy exits from the water.