Shipwrecks of the Dover Straits

The Dover Straits is the resting place for many wrecks, and this book reveals the stories behind a selection of these unfortunate vessels. This highly pictorial account shows the wrecks and the many artifacts found. A summary of the history of the vessel and the actual dive accompanied the gallery of photographs for each wreck. Providing an insight into diving in these challenging waters and also the excitement of discovering age-old artefacts.

The 208 page, profusely illustrated in full color plus 125 newspaper reports unearths some amazing stories and shows the objects in situ or recovered for identification, all declared to the receiver of wrecks many in remarkable condition. These waters contain many hundreds of wrecks that create a perfect site for wreck divers, and this book describes only a fraction of what they may find.

This new book will be a valuable and enticing introduction for all divers wishing to explore the huge number of wrecks to be found in the Dover Straits, as well as a useful point of reference.



Stefan started diving at the early age of six with his father. In 1992, he did his first “official” scuba diving course. Since then, he advanced onwards with courses such as nitrox and trimix. In 2009, Stefan started diving an Inspiration CCR rebreather along with moving into underwater photography in 2013. Meanwhile, he developed a great interest in wrecks and researching the history of the wrecks in the archives.

He conducted multiple expeditions to the wrecks in the North Sea. Stefan was present during the finding of a virgin VOC ship from 1661 in the English Channel. Stefan has traveled extensively throughout Sardinia, Portugal and Cuba, searching for lost shipwrecks. He was also involved in searching for and identifying the 1852 “Josephine Willis” wreck.

In 2014, Stefan obtained his full cave CCR certification. Since then, he has taken part in many cave dives in Sardinia, France and Spain, along with becoming a “specialist” in looking for new Belgian mine sites. He is the leader of the “Mine Exploration Team”, a dedicated team who does official mine research and documentation.

In 2020, Stefan became a member of the prestigious Explorers Club located in New York City.

2024 kicked off with an exploration of an unknown level in the Morépire mine, and the search for an underground tunnel under a Monastry. Along with a new mine, Stefan would call the largest and deepest mine in Belgium! Stay tuned!

Meanwhile, Stefan has written over 50 articles for international magazines:

- DUIKEN magazine (NL) : Permanent writer, monthly article

- Wetnotes magazine (DE) : Permanent writer, article nearly every issue

- Diver magazine (UK) : Frequent writer

- Diver 24 (PL) : Permanent writer, article every issue (including covershot)

- Neptune magazine (RU) : Frequent writer

- Magazine Plongez (FR): Frequent writer

- Duikersgids (BENELUX): Permanent photographer (including covershot)

Stefan has co-written 3 books:

- Duiken naar goud en kunstschatten (NL + ENG)

- Duiken naar het onbekende

- Duiken naar oorlogswrakken

Some images from inside the book

Above: Buddy Eddie with a recovered plate with the shipping crest (River plate Steam navigation Co.Ltd. in Liverpool.)of the wreck of the SS Cuvier, a Mid-Channel wreck that sank after a collision with the SS Douvre in 1900.

Below: Torpedo tubes (loaded still!) on the wreck of the HMS Brazen (H80), a B-Class destroyer, sunk by german Stuka’s on the initial phase of the battle of Britain


Above: Buddy Eddie Huzzey discovers a gold coin (20 Dollar American Eagle) on the wreck of the SS Pommerania, that was the first steam-sail ship of the Hapag line to make the trans Atlantic crossing from Germany to the USA.

Below: Original picture of a Henry Ford car as discovered deep inside the hold of the SS Toward.


Above: The remains of the Henry Ford car in the hull of the SS Toward, a 1899 steamship that was sunk in the first world war by UC6. The picnic basket on the car was still in place too and full of plates and cutlery!

Below: Buddy David Knight inside a hold on the wreck of the SS Strathclyde, built in 1871, and sank after a collision with the SS Franconia just 1?4 miles out of Dover harbor.


Above: Buddy Tony Goodfellow giving scale to the cables on the wreck of the cable layer SS Monarch, built in 1883. The drums of cables are 6ft in diameter.

Below: Buddy Bjorn Bauwen poses near the engine of the SS Pommerania. The wreck is in an area that is often blessed with good visibility to Dover standards.


Above: An ironic picture of the china found on the wreck of the Josephine Willis. A wooden sailing immigrant ship that was run down in 1856 with the loss of 70 souls.

Below: Buddy David Knight enlightens a set of cannons on a wreck site that we believe is a salvage barge that salvaged the cannons of the 1809 Indianman ‘Admiral Gardner’ which matches the marks and dates on the brass cannons recovered.

To Pre-Order a Copy of Shipwrecks of the Dover Straits contact Stepan Panis