Scuba divers from East Cheshire Sub-Aqua Club drew together divers from other BSAC branches up and down the country and led a mission to raise two WW2 Highball Bouncing Bombs from a Scottish Loch in time for the 75th anniversary of the historic dambusters raid.
The project received a lot of press coverage both in print media and on the TV. See some of it here.
There were no intact Highballs on display to the public anywhere in the world and our aim was to map, locate and raise two of these giant spherical bombs so they could go on display in British museums.
You can download the original expedition plan here – Project Highball Expedition Plan.
Here we are donating the first Highball to the deHavilland Museum near London.
We have also donated the second bomb to the Brooklands Museum. You can see the bomb being loaded onto their van at ECSAC’s clubhouse below and the handover taking place with our Chairman, Paul Tyers and our Diving Officer, Kevin Phillips, handing over the Bomb to Andy Lambert (Assistant Curator from the Brooklands Museum). (More of these photos here).
The deHavilland Museum have engaged the Mary Rose Trust to complete the restoration of their bomb so we hope to see it go on display in 2018 as part of the activities to remember the 75th Anniversary of Dambusters.
In addition to donating the highballs we lifted, the team has also created a dive trail that divers can follow and see the bombs for themselves in Loch Striven.
You can watch the official video that be shown at the Museums here. This video was produced by Henry Paisey.
You can watch the 20 minute documentary about the expedition below: produced by Kevin Phillips.
The Dive Trail is explained in this five minute video, along with video of a dive on the site:
These videos show examples of the high resolution scanning data collected as part of the expedition.
The expedition was also featured in SCUBA Magazine – you can see the full article here.
It provides details of the expedition itself, the story of the lift and full details of the dive trail.
We also got a one page feature for the team winning the Duke of Cambridge Scuba Award (on left). (See also the Awards Page)
We also managed a feature in the online magazine Scubaverse as well.
During the expedition we collected some really detailed scanning data of Loch Striven. You can download both the sidescan data and the 3D Bathymetry data that was collected by the expedition via the links below.
SideScan Data of the Highball Site – this is a very large ZIP file and contains a copy of all the sidescan data files collected during our expedition.
3D Bathymetric Data of the Highball Site – this is a large ZIP file containing the 3D Scene File of a large scale Bathymetric Scan.
If you would like to contact any of these companies you can find their details here.
We have also presented the story of the expedition to over 200 people at two presentation evenings at ECSAC, and this show will go on tour as well. You can download a copy of these presentations below. They may need some explanation if you want to use them, you are welcome to contact us for more details, we would also be happy to come and present this story to you and your club/group if you wish. Please contact Kevin Phillips at [email protected]
Part One – The History of the Bomb – 665Mb
Part Two – The Expedition Story – 2.5Gb
(you will need Microsoft PowerPoint v15 or higher to use these).
There was a huge amount of press and TV interest, you can read and watch some of the press coverage here..
You can also find a story about Midget Submarines that mentioned Loch Striven – published in February 1979 in Diver Magazine, here.
If you want any more details or information about Highball or would like to engage our team on an interesting salvage, survey or recovery project then please contact Kevin Phillips at [email protected]
In June 2018 we returned to the Secret Loch to gather detailed photographs of some of the bombs in order to produce 3D Photogrammetry Models which can be used in the museums to supplement the bombs on display. For more details see the trip report page.
Graphic design for our Project Highball artwork above left was done by one of our talented members Andy Bickerdike – email him on [email protected] if you would like some graphics work done