I have just completed a project creating an interactive diver interpretation for the wreck of HMS Colossus with marine archaeologist Kevin Camidge. Commissioned by Historic England, we have created a mobile-friendly website where divers and non-divers alike can explore the wreck. It is situated south of the island of Samson on the Isles of Scilly, and sank in 1798.

As the Colossus is in relatively shallow waters, it is a popular and accessible location for diving. A physical dive trail already exists; concrete stations around the site on the seabed with tethered and numbered buoys and an accompanying guide. To help divers plan a visit, and to provide non-divers with a sense of what the site is like, we have created an “interactive plan”. Utilising Sketchfab, visitors can explore a simplified model of the wreck via computers, tablets and smartphones, tapping the dive stations to explore different locations in more detail, as well as viewing “diver-eye” videos of the site itself.

We opted to create a simplified 3D plan based on the archaeological survey, clearly indicating in bold colours the different components of the wreck, rather than adopt a photorealistic approach. The wreck itself is a mass of seaweed and sand-covered dark wood which can be difficult for the layperson to interpret.

Explore the wreck of HMS Colossus – dive in literally or virtually!