10 essential wrecks for scuba diving
Scuba diving is a multi-faceted activity. A handful of categories where there is something for everyone. Teaching, Tek diving, underwater photography, bio diving, speleology… When others only have eyes for wrecks ! In the end, on second thought, wreck diving combines all these disciplines. And it is certainly all these sensations that make us like diving on wrecks. Few people turn their backs on it…
Tribloo has selected 10 wrecks from among the most beautiful on the planet, some of which are unmissable. Wherever you are in the world, you will always have a reason to explore some of these :
- USAT Liberty Ship in Bali
In the northeast of the Island of the Gods, Bali, Indonesia, lies one of the world’s most famous and accessible shipwrecks. Because the success of USAT Liberty is that it is only about 30 meters from Tulamben Beach. The wreck of the American Warship torpedoed during the Second World War by the Japanese in 1942, allows a safe exploration between 5 and 28m deep, so accessible to the smallest levels of diving, but also snorkeling. It is inhabited by an incredible fauna: dozens of species of fish, a multitude of nudibranchs, and we often find a huge school of humphead parrotfish !
- The HAVEN in Italia
In a completely different style, let us return to Europe, with the wreck of the Haven off Genoa in Italy. This steel monster could even be the biggest wreck in the world. With gargantuan dimensions (the ship was originally 334m long but is divided into several parts), this dive is for experienced divers. Although it is possible to explore the top of the wreck in the air from -33m, it is generally in trimix or equipped with rebreathers that divers visit it up to the sand at 80m. In 1991, the tanker sank following an explosion due to a fire.
- The SS Thistlegorm in Egypt
A British naval cargo carrying military equipment, the SS Thistlegorm was sunk on October 6, 1941 by German bombers. The wreck, set on a sandy bottom at 32m, was discovered by Cousteau and his team in the 1950s. Long left alone, it became a few decades later one of the most famous wrecks in the world. Full of history, it is possible to explore the interior of the ship, and discover the abandoned cargo: motorcycles, Jeeps, rifles, artillery shells, locomotives, etc….. Generally, diving boats plan two dives: one outside the wreck and one inside.
- The Roraima in Martinique
The Roraima, the mythical wreck of the Caribbean, like the other wrecks in front of the village of Saint-Pierre, is a witness to the violence of the volcanic eruption of Mount Pelée in 1902. After burning for three days, the Roraima sank and landed at a depth of 60m. Nicknamed “the white-haired wreck” by Commander Cousteau, it is covered with gorgonians, corals and sponges in the middle of which evolve many colorful fish…
- The Donator in France
The French coasts have many wrecks spread all along the coast. In the Var, near the island of Porquerolles, the Donator lies on the sand at a depth of about fifty metres, following its encounter with a drifting mine in November 1945. It then sank quickly before landing almost intact on the bottom. The Donator is now recognized as one of the most beautiful shipwrecks in the Mediterranean, with an incredible fauna: schools of anthias cover a whole part of the wreck, groupers patrol the corridors, as do sars, seabreams and other wrasses…..
- The SS President Coolidge in Vanuatu
In the Vanuatu archipelago, near New Caledonia, one of the largest shipwrecks in the world (about 200m long), lies in warm, fishy waters a few dozen metres from the coast. The SS President Coolidge, a former luxury liner, requisitioned during the Second World War by the American army for troop transport, was sunk in October 1942 by two American submarine mines ! They were of course supposed to protect American ships from the intrusion of enemy submarines. The wreck, whose bow is 20m deep and the deepest part 70m, can accommodate all levels of divers, who will be able to discover the many military remains along their underwater trip.
- The USS Kittiwake in Cayman islands
The 76m long USS Kittiwake was sunk voluntarily in 2011 with the aim of providing both an artificial reef to shelter wildlife and a diving site accessible to all, since the wreck lies only 20 metres below the surface in the waters of Grand Cayman. This former service boat is now the playground for jacks and barracudas in crystal clear water.
- The Ghiannis D in Egypt
The famous Abu Nuhas Reef in the northern Red Sea in Egypt hosts several wrecks, including the Ghiannis D. Stranded in 1983, it is one of the most recent wrecks in the Red Sea. Shallow (max 27m), it is very interesting because very colonized by corals and fish. It is not uncommon to see some hawksbill turtles as well. Inside, a bank of glassfish usually awaits divers….
- The Umbria in Sudan
It is in Sudan that we find the Umbria, an Italian cargo ship, scuttled by its captain, while the ship, detained by the British at Port Sudan, was loaded with a real arsenal of warfare for Italian troops. It was only when Italy officially entered the war alongside the Germans on June 10, 1940, that the Italian captain quickly decided to scuttle his ship and all its cargo so that the British would not seize it. The intact vessel rests at a depth of only 30m. A true history museum, it is now considered one of the most beautiful wrecks in the world !
- The Fujikawa Maru in Micronesia
Truk Lagoon (Chuuk) in Micronesia is considered the largest wreck cemetery on the planet, the result of a bloody battle in February 1944 when the Japanese saw their entire fleet sink as a result of the American bombers’ destruction. The Fujikawa Maru is considered to be the most beautiful dive in the lagoon. In particular, several Japanese fighter planes can be seen there. Between 9 and 33 metres deep, it is a very accessible wreck.
There are of course many wrecks around the world whatever the destination you choose. Diving on a wreck often reserves beautiful surprises and beautiful memories. Each wreck has its own story so don’t hesitate to check it out before you dive in !