Shipwreck stories of discovery in new book

David Mearns with his new book 'The Shipwreck Hunter'
David Mearns with his new book 'The Shipwreck Hunter'

Publishing a book is no plunge into the deep end for David Mearns, but his latest release is something special.

The Shipwreck Hunter charts the course of his nearly 30-year career locating sunken vessels and objects, from the ship at the heart of a murder trial, to a 16th century Spanish fleet.

Known for his discovery of the famous HMS Hood, Midhurst based Mr Mearns has selected his most notable searches for his third book to focus in on the stories of the wrecks themselves and what its like to uncover the mysteries behind them.

He said: “It’s like throwing intellectual darts at a dart board.

“You’ve got all these little pieces and everyone wants to know how they fit together, where it is, and you have to guess, not by chance but with intellectual clues.

“At the heart of it it’s a detective search, it’s physically lost but also in terms of why it’s lost. You’re matching those historical accounts to what you find.”

Mr Mearns will be holding a charity talk about his work at Lodsworth Village Hall at 7.30pm on October 5 to coincide with the release of the UK hardback, with copies already on sale online.

Tickets are available at Lodsworth Larder or John West on 01798 861515. Proceeds go to the village hall and Lodsworth Croquet Club.