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Ross Kemp submerged swimming next to the deck of a Royal Navy wreck

Ross Kemp: Deep Sea Treasure Hunter S1

Watch Ross Kemp dive on a series of incredible shipwrecks around the British coastline to reveal some of the nation’s murkiest and best-kept secrets.

From the remains of a slave ship discovered off Plymouth, to the Kaiser’s sunken Imperial Fleet in Scapa Flow and an experimental submarine aircraft carrier, which sank with all passengers and crew on deck during its sea trials, Ross uncovers Britain’s hidden maritime past.

Along with his fascination for seafaring history, Ross has a personal reason for undertaking this adventure as members of his family served at sea, with some being shipwrecked and not surviving to tell their tales. His great grandfather 'Pop' was in the Merchant Marines during World War II and survived being shipwrecked three times. Pop's two nephews both served and perished aboard HMS Hood when it went into battle against the Bismarck in May 1941.

In preparation for this series, Ross took an advanced HSE SCUBA diving course to prepare for the unpredictable elements of our vast seas. He dedicated himself to a strict two-month training regime to reach the level of expertise and qualification required to take on such perilous expeditions.

Fully qualified, Ross is joined in his adventures by expert diver Emily Turton, maritime archaeologist and professional diver Mallory Haas and dive supervisor Neil Brock as they delve down into Britain’s past.

Ross explores historical wrecks including the SMS Karlsruhe warship, the SS Tabarka, and the Iona II paddle steamer - an American Civil War gun runner lost in mysterious circumstances in the Bristol Channel.

A recently discovered wreck in Plymouth is explored for the first time by Ross and the team; it sheds light on one of the most harrowing and suppressed chapters in British history – the transatlantic slave trade.

Ross Kemp said: “Every shipwreck I’ve dived on has had a story to tell, tales that echo from our past into the present. They speak to us of bravery, sacrifice, and progress but also of cruelty and heartbreak. I have discovered the impact the sea has had not only on my own family but also on world history.

"It’s been challenging; it’s been emotional, but it’s also been lots of fun. There are plenty more shipwrecks in the ocean and I can’t wait to dive on them.”

In episode one, Ross completes his specialist SCUBA training, allowing him to complete a series of advanced dives around some of the UK's most dangerous shipwrecks. He first heads to Scapa Flow, the Royal Navy's historic naval base in the far northerly Orkney Islands. Here he explores a captured German scout ship to find out more about his two relatives who tragically passed away while serving in the Royal Navy during WWII.

Ross then completes decompression training in order to take on some of the deepest shipwrecks in the area. This includes perhaps the biggest of the Kaiser’s Imperial war ships from WWI, SMS Karlsruhe.

He then heads 600 miles south to dive on an experimental British aircraft carrier submarine built in the 1920s called the M2. This unique vessel was lost in shocking and horrifying circumstances, with all hands.

On the coast of North Devon, Ross dives on the wreck of the sunken steam ship Iona II. The ship went down with a mystery cargo on board that the owners went to extensive efforts to recover in secret. Ross hopes to reveal what they wanted back so badly. His journey takes him to Plymouth to dive on a newly discovered wreck that links the site to the transatlantic slave trade.

Finally, Ross and Mallory visit the wreck site of 36-gun Nelsonian frigate HMS Amethyst, a legendary battle cruiser, launched in 1799, which proved one of the most successful and prolific of the Napoleonic wars. His discovery leads the team to the 16th century Minera Tavern for a story of trickery and kidnap by the Royal Navy. In a final mystery in Plymouth Sound, Rossand Mallory dive on the wreck of a much more recent ship, the WWII cargo ship, SS James Eagan Layne.