Award for 7SCOTS dive team

November 5, 2020

A team from 7SCOTS has been awarded the Ulysses Trust Prince of Wales Award for Best Volunteer Reserve Unit Expedition for Exercise NORTHERN SCAPA TARTAN 2019.

A socially-distanced presentation ceremony took place at Queen’s Barracks in Perth on 2 November with Stephen Leckie, Lord-Lieutenant of Perth and Kinross, handing over the award to expedition leader Captain Ken Scott (pictured, above).

The expedition – which saw members of 7SCOTS deploy to Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands to develop their diving skills – took place in October 2019.

2019 marked the centenary of the scuttling of the German High Seas Fleet in Scapa Flow after the end of the First World War, and the British Sub-Aqua Club SCAPA 100 project encouraged divers to dive the multitude of wrecks and salvage sites to commemorate this centenary.

The group of eight reservists had to cope with the dark waters of Scapa Flow and, pushing themselves well beyond their comfort zones, dived down to inspect the impressive wreck of SMS König, one of three battleships, lying in 38 metres of water, as well as many other sites. Diving in dry suits in the cold UK waters was a skill in itself.

Team member Captain Mike Dunnigan described seeing SMS König for the first time: “The scale of this wreck is something to behold. Descending down the shot line the shape wells up out of the gloom and it is difficult to get a sense of what you are actually looking at. Eventually details come into focus and you realise how big the wreck is (nearly 27,000 tons and 146m long!) and you start to explore.”

This was an excellent example of a great expedition that was undertaken close to home, thus minimising transport costs and environmental impact but at the same time meeting all the Ulysses Trust criteria. The Trust granted £1,500 to the expedition.

The unique nature of Exercise NORTHERN SCAPA TARTAN 2019 made it a worthy recipient of the Volunteer Reserve Unit Best Expedition Award.

The full expedition report can be found on the Ulysses Trust website: