Kester Keighley 1 - Can you remember your first dive on the Mary Rose?


    Kester learnt to dive as a student. After graduating in 1981 he contacted the Mary Rose Trust and volunteered to help excavate. During this time he did a commercial diving course and in 1982 joined the full-time team of commercially trained divers involved with the salvage of the hull.

    Kester is now a professional saturation diver working in the North Sea oil fields.

    In the clip below Kester recalls his first dive on the Mary Rose.

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    Extract Text (Duration01.21)

    I can remember the fact that… well I was diving in a wetsuit in those days and that the visibility in the water wasn't very good. But then we had... sort of like you went down a rope to a sinker and there was like a grid of poles that showed you around where to... directed you where to go.  The first dive, as far as I remember, was a tour of parts of the ship, like where we were going to be working, what the airlifts we were going to be using and where we were going to be able to find them.  But then after that we were then given like tuition in how to use an airlift, you know for excavation, because basically the airlift is used to suck away the spoils and not to, obviously, to dig the objects out.  So we had to be shown how to use an airlift and a trowel and how to balance ourselves so that we were not lying and touching the seabed.  And this was done by taking us to a... what you might describe as a safe area of seabed where there were no objects and we were shown how to use the airlift there and given some instruction and practised there for the first dive.

    Can you remember your first dive on the Mary Rose?

    01.21 mins - mp3 File

    I uncovered this gold coin

    00.54 mins - mp3 File

    A whole box of longbows

    01.42 mins - mp3 File

    Preparing the wreck for the salvage

    01.28 mins - mp3 File

    In the water up until the last minute

    01.30 mins - mp3 File

    It did come up very slowly

    01.05 mins - mp3 File