Divers who monitor the Haven Sunderland are planning a programme of winter dives - with the help of decent weather and the support of locally based dive charter vessel Blue Thunder.

Sponsorship of a berth at Neyland Marina means that Blue Thunder is handily placed to take advantage of favourable weather and diving conditions. The vessel is operated by brothers Will and John Fenneberg - both members of the Sunderland Trust Dive Group which is the only group permitted to dive on Sunderland T9044.

The group has had a successful season diving on T9044 and recovered several important items which are now being conserved at Pembroke Dock’s very popular Flying Boat Centre, run by the Sunderland Trust.

In future dives the group will use a sophisticated sonar scanner which has been fitted to Guardian, the group’s own inflatable RIB. The scanner was supplied and fitted by Dan Hawkes of Positive Marine Electronics who made a special journey, free of charge, from Kent to carry out the work.

Will Fenneberg, chairman of the Dive Group, said: “This is the second winter that the Group has had sponsorship from Neyland Marina and we are very grateful to Marina Manager James Cotton and the Marina staff for their tremendous support. We can now look forward to diving all year round - in the past ‘Blue Thunder’ has had to be brought out of the water in the autumn.

“Winter months can provide excellent conditions for diving in the Haven and all we can hope for is decent weather. Our new scanner will be put to good use - initial trials have been very successful. Some periods of calm, dry weather may well be ahead this winter - we do hope so.”