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Irish Divers Uncover Anchor off Coolock Coast; 'It was a Big Surprise'

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COOLOCK, Ireland -- Four Coolock diving enthusiasts uncovered a rare find last week when they managed to pull what they believe to be a 120-year-old anchor from the sea off Lambay Island. In a two and half hour operation, the divers, Kevin Darling, Johnny Hogan, Robert Murren and Derek Doolin, managed to slowly drag the anchor from the seabed up to Malahide Marina.

The origins of the anchor are still unclear, although the divers say they have narrowed it down to one of two possibilities.

Kevin Darling told Northside People: "We believe it is most likely from a ship called the 'Strathtay'. If not, then there is the possibility it is from another ship known as the 'Shamrock'.

The 'Strathtay' was a Scottish ship that was built in Glasgow in 1883 and sank off the north east coast, near Lambay, two years later.

"They are the only two ships that we know of that sank near Lambay, so we are guessing it has to be from one of them," Kevin said.

To finally get the anchor onto dry land was the culmination of many months' wait for Kevin, who was first to spot it while diving off Lambay last winter.

Kevin now has the anchor safely stored at his home in Coolock.

"I spotted the anchor sitting on its own about 22-metres deep," he said. "It was a big surprise as it was the first time that I have found something of this nature.

"But because it was winter at the time, it wasn't viable for us to attempt to take it from the sea at that stage."

Even in the better summer conditions, Kevin explained that it took a lot of effort to remove the anchor.

"It certainly wasn't easy getting it out from the seabed," he said.

"It just wasn't possible for us to get the anchor up onto the boat so we had to get ropes around it, lift it up from the bottom and tow it into shore from there."

This in itself was a slow process for the four men, taking them nearly two and half hours to reach Malahide Marina.

"We were really delighted to finally get the anchor from the sea," said Kevin.

"There was one occasion when I found a plaque a few years back but it was nothing compared to the scale of this."

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