By Davis Wells - The Herald
Scuba diver Allen Murray has spent the best part of two decades dedicated to researching and exploring historic shipwrecks, perhaps most notably bringing to life a mystery that has puzzled researchers and defence experts for a hundred years.
The seasoned diver, aged 60 from Plymouth, and who has been an active and leading member of a several diving clubs across the South West over the years, has now been honoured for his work in archaeological wreck investigation.
The British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC), the sport's national governing body which grants a number of awards to honour amateur divers' achievements, has appointed Mr Murray as a 'Wreck Champion'.
The award is a recognition of his efforts over two decades to explore, photograph and research historic wrecks.
One of the most notable of such explorations, and one that required a great deal of sensitivity during the mission, was research into the protected wreck of the Royal Navy's sunken submarine HMS A7, which sank in Whitsand Bay in Cornwall in 1914, with the loss of all 11 men on board.
The wreck site is the last resting place of the submariners who lost their lives and diving on her is prohibited without a licence from the Ministry of Defence.
However, Mr Murray, was granted special permission to dive the protected wreck in 2014, as part of an academic research project to bring the history of the vessel to life and create a virtual tribute to the crew of HMS A7.