You will probably have noticed from reading the articles on this website that most of us really enjoy scuba diving as well as other extreme sports. I have been ice diving, cave diving, reef diving, diving with sharks, you name it and it’s been done. One great experience, to be enjoyed by both diving masters and diving novices, however, is wreck diving. It is amazing to see a piece of history under water and to see what nature does to the wrecks of ships under water.
One thing I would recommend to anyone doing a wreck dive is to get some specialist equipment, most of which can be purchased from Amazon, of course. Some of the things I would have as standard is:
- Diving equipment, such as comfortable flippers and goggles
- An underwater torch (there are many very dark areas in wrecks)
- A wet suit or dry suit (many wrecks are in seriously cold waters)
- An underwater camera
Below are my personal top 10 wreck dives, enjoy!
#10 Best Wreck Dives – Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands
The best wreck in the Bikini Atoll is the USS Saratoga, which is a very long aircraft carrier that was sunk in the very first testing of an underwater nuclear bomb. This was done in 1946 and it’s now perfectly safe to wreck dive here again. It really is one of the best wreck dives as you can find yourself in an underwater world where you can still see bombs, parked planes and rockets, as well as personal belongings of the crew of the ship.
#9 Best Wreck Dives – Scapa Flow on the Orkney Islands
There is quite a large number of wrecks in Scapa Flow, mainly from the German High Seas Fleet. This means that around 100 battleships were scuppered in this location after World War I. Despite being in British waters, visibility is really good. My personal favourite is the Konig, a 177 metre long warship, but with so many to choose from you are sure to find something to your liking.
#8 Best Wreck Dives – Truk Lagoon in Mirconesia
In 1944, over 60 Japanese ships and planes were attacked by the US and they landed in the Truk Lagoon. There is a whole host of wrecks to choose from and it is a true delight for extreme sports and diving lovers, but my own personal favourite is the Fujikawa Maru. She is a 132 metre freighter and is in very shallow depths. The Fujikawa Maru is a beautiful example of how nature can once again take over, with some gorgeous colourful corals. Again, it is possible to find old personal belongings in the wreckage as well.
#7 Best Wreck Dives – Andrea Doria in the North Atlantic
This is one of the most amazing and best wreck dives sites you could possibly find but only very experienced divers will be able to access this Italian passenger liner as it sits at a depth of 73 metres. This is truly an extreme sport site, as at least 15 divers have died during their dives.
#6 Best Wreck Dives – Umbria in the Sudan
The Umbria was sunk in 1940 and is an old Italian cargo ship. It is at a very shallow depth and is perfect for those first exploring wreck dives: not too big and not too small. Furthermore, there’s all sorts of stuff still left there, including ancient Fiat cars. For the advanced wreck divers, this place is equally fantastic, as they may be able to reach the engine room as well as the old bakery.
#5 Best Wreck Dives – Thistlegorm in Sharm-El-Sheikh
In 1941, the Thistlegorm, a British ship, was sunk on a journey of ammunition and supplies transport to British troops in Alexandria. Much of these items can still be seen under water, including wellington boots, which is really what made this one of the best wreck dives for me.
#4 Best Wreck Dives – Yongala in Australia
The Yongala was a passenger carrying steam ship that sank in a cyclone in 1911. Everyone on board died, and there are stories of haunting feelings amongst those who undertake the wreck dive. However, added to this is the fact that it is in the Great Barrier Reef, meaning that the wreck has become a miniature reef all on its own, being covered in anemones and a favourite visiting place for clown fish.
#3 Best Wreck Dives – Zenobia in Cyprus
Zenobia is a relatively new wreck and sank in 1980 on her very first voyage. It was a vehicle ferry, just like the ones that can still be found in Cyprus today. It’s a really fun wreck dive, where you can visit the canteen and even sit in the life boats. Plus, the cargo of the egg lorry is still completely intact and that should certainly not be missed.
#2 Best Wreck Dives – The Coolidge in Vanuatu
The Coolidge is an absolutely massive ship. Plus, since it’s only at between 20 and 40 metres deep, you don’t need to be a very advanced diver to be able to visit it. It was initially designed as a luxury liner, but was then taken over by the US navy to transport troops. It hit a mine in 1942 and sank. All sorts of stuff is left here and you can enjoy some amazing sites such as the captain’s bathroom and the on board hospital. Because it was initially a luxury ship, there are some fantastic features visible as well.
#1 Best Wreck Dives – The MS Antilla in Aruba
This was my first wreck dive and will always be my favourite. It was scuppered in 1939 when the Germans tried to take over Aruba but failed abysmally. It’s such a great location as belongings have scattered all over the ocean floor and you can even pretend to have a bath. Plus, it is at a very shallow depth and there is even an area that contains a permanent air bubble, meaning you can take your mask off under water. Nature is amazing here as well, particularly under the sand itself where you will be able to find conchos. It doesn’t get much better than this!