The two-man bell was originally supplied by Shiers Ltd for diving inspections during the building of the Thames Barrier in the 1970s.

A team of six engineers specially trained as professional divers would work in the purpose-built, crane-operated bell for periods of up to an hour, during which time it could be moved around as many as 10 times.

The Shiers Bell has now been installed on the lakebed at Stoney Cove some 25m from the long-established Deep Hydrobox at the 35m level, standing “as a testament to the epic work carried out by divers during construction of the Thames Barrier”, says Stoney MD Martin Woodward.

The bell is the site’s 27th attraction to be sunk for divers.

* IN CROATIA an underwater installation on a bigger scale has been completed in Jelinak Bay near the Adriatic coastal town of Trogir, where a collection of 52 thematic statues has been sunk over the past eight months.

These represent the Stations of the Cross, a series of images which in Catholicism represent Christ's route to Calvary.

A 10-tonne, 8m-high concrete statue of Christ was lowered to the seabed at 12m after being displayed in Trogir over Easter, completing an ambitious project intended to attract divers and snorkellers.

The other statues are smaller at around 1.8m high and weighing 1 tonne each, and are set at depths of 4-5m.

The  installation was the brainchild of Josko Kandija, who owns local dive-centre Blue Nautica, with sculptor Valentino Valent creating the statues.

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