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Iona II Project - 2000 & 2001

Brief History:

The Iona II was a passenger paddle steamer, built in Goven on the Clyde in 1863 for Hutcheson & Co of Glasgow.  She was 245ft (75m) long x 25ft (7.6m) beam (excluding her side paddles), and designed for use as a ferry to connect the mainland of Scotland with the Western Isles.

Her predesessor, the Iona I was built in 1855 for the same service, but was sold to American shipowners in 1862 for use as a blockade runner during the American Civil War.  Prior to being sold however, the Iona I was stripped out, and her fittings used to furnish the Iona II.  Unfortunately, when leaving the Clyde under cover of darkness, the Iona I was in collission with the SS Chanticleer and sank before even leaving UK waters.

At the end of her first season, the Iona II was similarly stripped out and sold to the Americans as a blockade runner but again failed to make it out of UK territorial waters, sinking off of Lundy Island in the River Severn on 2nd February 1864.

Iona II

The site of the Iona II was designated in 1989 under the Protection of Wrecks Act (1973) and became the first iron and steam powered vessel to be protected under this Act.


In 2000 & 2001, licences to dive & survey the wreck site were granted to MADU by the Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), and the work carried out is outlined in:

Iona II Project 2000

Iona II Project 2001

The project culminated in the submission of a licensee's report at the end of both the 2000 & 2001 seasons.

Reference Links:

For further information see the following articles:

The Iona II which can be found in "Nautical Archaeology" the NAS newsletter (2000.3, page 2).

Malvern Archaeological Diving Unit: Archaeological Work Carried out on the Iona II by Ian Cundy which can be found in "Nautical Archaeology" the NAS newsletter (2001.1, page 4).

The Iona II, Lundy Island by Shaun Parrin which can be found in "Nautical Archaeology" the NAS newsletter (2001.4, page 8).

Dive Trail for the Iona II by Peta Knott which can be found in "Nautical Archaeology" the NAS newsletter (Spring 2014, pages-/ 10 - 11).

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