Some of the most interesting types of shipwrecks for scuba diving are the purpose sunk ships that have been sunk to create artificial reefs. This is a wonderful way for older ships to provide not only benefit to divers but also to a variety of marine life.
Select from the list below to view my Photo galleries of selected wrecks and unusual dive sites.
There have been and continue to be a large number of ships sunk to create artificial reefs. Wikipedia provides a list of some of those wrecks including the HMAS Adelaide and the USS Kittiwake which were just sunk in 2011.
PADI and NAUI offer specialty wreck diving courses to train divers in “safety, hazards and cautions, special risks of overhead environments, entanglement, limited visibility, deep diving, equipment, location of wrecks, sources of information, search methods, underwater navigation, legal aspects, artifacts, treasure, salvage, archaeology, and much more”.
While more recent reefed ships such as the USS Kittiwake in Grand Cayman have been extensively prepared for reefing and to also make entry, exploration and exiting the ship relatively safe, many older reefed ships should be approached cautiously and if the diver is not “wreck” certified penetration of the wreck should not be attempted.
As an underwater photographer, shipwrecks hold a special fascination to me. To be able to capture the mystery and character of the ship in a photo is a special challenge. However, there are those great moments when you are able to get everything just right and the photo seems to come alive. The ability of a photo to transport the viewer into the image and experience the wonder of the moment is the real test of a truly amazing photo.
Ships sunk for wreck diving (from Wikipedia)
|USS Arthur W. Radford (DD-968)||Cape May, New Jersey||United States|
|HMAS Adelaide||Avoca Beach, New South Wales||Australia|
|USS Kittiwake||West Bay, Grand Cayman||Cayman Islands|
|HMAS Canberra||Barwon Heads, Victoria||Australia|
|USNS General Hoyt S. Vandenberg (T-AGM-10)||Key West, Florida||United States|
|HMNZS Canterbury||Bay of Islands||New Zealand|
|Xihwu Boeing 737||British Columbia||Canada|
|HMNZS Wellington||Wellington||New Zealand|
|HMAS Brisbane||Mooloolaba, Queensland||Australia|
|HMS Scylla||Whitsand Bay, Cornwall||United Kingdom|
|USS Oriskany||Florida||United States|
|CS Charles L Brown||Sint Eustatius||Leeward Islands|
|USS Spiegel Grove||Florida||United States|
|HMAS Hobart||Yankalilla Bay, South Australia||Australia|
|HMCS Cape Breton||British Columbia||Canada|
|HMAS Perth||Albany, Western Australia||Australia|
|HMCS Yukon||San Diego, California||United States|
|Stanegarth||Stoney Cove||United Kingdom|
|HMNZS Waikato||Tutukaka||New Zealand|
|HMNZS Tui||Tutukaka Heads||New Zealand|
|HMCS Saskatchewan||British Columbia||Canada|
|HMAS Swan||Dunsborough, Western Australia||Australia|
|HMCS Columbia||British Columbia||Canada|
|MV Captain Keith Tibbetts (formerly Russian-built Frigate 356)||Cayman Brac||Cayman Islands|
|Inganess Bay||British Virgin Islands|
|HMCS Mackenzie||British Columbia||Canada|
|HMCS Chaudière||British Columbia||Canada|
|1991–2001||Wreck Alley – The Marie L, The Pat and The Beata||British Virgin Islands|
|MV G.B. Church||British Columbia||Canada|
|1987–2000||Wreck Alley||San Diego, California||United States|
|USCGC Bibb||Florida||United States|
|USCGC Duane||Florida||United States|
|Oro Verde||Cayman Islands|
|Glen Strathallen (sunk to produce a diver training facility)||Plymouth||United Kingdom|