The Ocean is littered with different things that have found their way to the bottom over the past thousands of years. From cars, to planes, to weapons and ships, there is no limit as to what someone can find down there.
Over the years, thrill-seekers have found different ways of exploring shipwrecks. There is just something about shipwrecks that draws people in. The history, the treasures, the seas life, or even what happened to the crew and passengers, it’s all hauntingly interesting.
Whatever the reasoning as to why a diver or photographer would want to dive deep down into the sea to explore them, we are glad they did. We wouldn’t be able to see these beautiful sites if they hadn’t and some of these really are remarkable.
Here are 20 shipwrecks that adventurers can dive to.
20 The U.S.S. Kittiwake (Sunk On Purpose To Become An Artificial Reef)
For anyone just starting out, the U.S.S. Kittiwake is the perfect vessel to explore. It’s located in shallow waters, so divers can dive all day and beginners can get lots of practice before taking on bigger dives.
Back in 2011, this 76.5 m-long vessel was stripped of all her hazardous materials and parts and sunk off the Grand Cayman’s Seven Mile Beach to become an artificial reef.
19 The S.S. President Coolidge (Sunk By Mines)
For divers looking for one of the most amazing dives they will experience, they need to check out the S.S. President Coolidge, a shipwreck out in Vanuatu that takes at least eight dives to fully explore.
Originally a luxury liner, it was later turned into a troop carrier before running into friendly mines while trying to enter a military base in October 1942 and sinking.
18 The U.S.N.S. General Hoyt S. Vandenberg (Sunk On Purpose To Become An Artificial Reef)
The U.S.N.S. General Hoyt S. Vandenberg, that’s a mouth full, is an old Air Force missile-tracking ship that sunk back in 2009 on purpose to become an artificial reef.
Made for advanced divers, this vessel has 11 different elevator shafts that divers can free fall into, Goliath groupers, and satellite dishes that divers can swim in and out of.
An interesting fact, this vessel served as a set for the sci-flick Virus.
17 The S.M.S. Coln (Abandoned During A War & Sunk On Purpose)
Scapa Flow, located in Scotland, is known as the graveyard for the World War One Germany Navy. One of the top vessels to dive to though is the 155 m-long German cruiser called S.M.S Coln, which is now laying on its side, 36 miles down.
This shape makes for a great historical dive, and the guns that are still in place will shock divers. They are as big as a human arm!
16 The S.S. Yongala (Ran Into A Cyclone & Sank)
The S.S. Yongala sank back in 1911 during a cyclone but wasn’t found until 1958.
It’s now protected under the Historic Shipwreck Act and is a big bucket list dive site for divers who want to experience all the greatest shipwrecks in the world. It’s also famous because of the huge variety of marine life that inhabit the area.
15 The S.S. Thistlegorm (Sank Due To A Mix Of Bombs & The Ammunition On Board Going Off)
The S.S. Thistlegorm was a British vessel that was attacked back in 1942 by an airstrike, whilst carrying war supplies. Between the bombs and the ammunition on board, the ship had no chance.
Now it sits in the Egyptian Red Sea and is an adventure that divers want to plan to do more than once in order to make sure they get to explore it fully.
14 The Fujikawa Maru (Sank After Multiple Bombings During Operation Hailstone)
Overtaken by sea life and coral, the Fujikawa Maru is an amazing shipwreck located in the Truk Lagoon that sank after getting hit with multiple bombings during Operation Hailstone.
It has five massive holds that offer exciting finds for any diver wanting to explore her. There is also a cargo hold that still houses a few Zero fighter planes.
13 The USAT Liberty (Was Beached, But Sank After The Volcano Mount Agung Erupted)
The USAT Liberty is a magnificent encrusted wreck that may be too broken to enter, but still has a breath-taking view that will not disappoint divers.
This ship has gone through the wringer. After being torpedoed by a Japanese submarine on January 11, 1942, the ship was beached on an island in Bali Indonesia, where it sat until a volcanic eruption in 1963 caused it to dislodge into the ocean.
12 The MS Zenobia (Took On Too Much Water & Capsized)
The MS Zenobia sunk back in June 1980 outside Larnaca, Cyprus due to technical problems and has since spent more time as a wreck, than a functioning vessel.
Lying 42 meters below the surface, there is an array of different marine life inhabiting the Swedish ferry that divers will see, as well as 104 different vehicles that sunk with the vessel.
11 The San Francisco Maru (Attacked By Carrier Aircraft)
The San Francisco Maru was a Passenger-Cargo ship that sank on February 18, 1944 after an airstrike dropped six bombs on her.
Along with the ship, divers can also look upon a beautiful bow gun, 3 armored tanks, and a flatbed truck, all of which are located on her main deck. There are also tons of war materials to explore such as drums, ammunition crates and much, much more.
10 The U.S.S. Saratoga (Sunk On Her Second Nuclear Test)
The USS Saratoga was an aircraft carrier back during World War 2.
During the summer of 1946, she became a test subject for nuclear weapon tests. After just two tests, she sunk and now lies between 12 and 50 meters. She is in pretty good standing, even after everything she went through and has an abundance of sea life for divers to experience.
9 The Hilma Hooker (Took On Water After Months Of Neglect & Sunk)
What a name right?
The Hilma Hooker is a beauty of a ship that is now lying at the bottom of a gorgeous reefed slope, surrounded with beautiful sponges, coral, sea fans and loads of different sea life.
After her crew was detained back in 1984, the ship sat for months without any kind of repair or attention. She was later dragged to a dive site where she sank.
8 The HMS Hermes (Sank After Being Attacked By A Japanese Air Raid)
The HMS Hermes was a Royal Navy Aircraft Carrier that was sunk during World War two off the coast of Sri Lanka.
Built in 1924, she was the world’s first ship to ever be designed as an aircraft carrier. She now lies in 53 meters of clear water is a breathtaking site or divers, especially with all the sea life that inhabits her.
7 The RMS Titanic (Sunk After Striking An Iceberg)
Titanic is a well-known ship. Traveling from Southampton to New York, it hit an iceberg and sunk in April 1912 and wasn’t found until 1985.
Well, in May 2018, the wreckage opened to explorers, who can now take an eight-day trip in the Cyclops 2, a manned submersible that can give explorers full access to the legendary ship and the amazing marine life that inhabit it.
6 The Lady Thetis (Sunk On Purpose To Become A Recreational Dive Site)
There are three wrecks off the Limassol coast that divers can explore, Lady Thetis being the most popular.
Built in 1953, the 30-meter passenger ship was sunk purposely in 2014 to create an artificial reef and recreational dive site. Fishing is strictly prohibited, but there is tons of marine life that divers can hopefully spot such as parrotfish, turtles, barracuda and monk seals.
5 The Mary Celestia (Sunk After Hitting A Reef)
Bermuda is a gold mine when it comes to sunken ships. The Mary Celestia is a must-see though.
First sinking in 1864, it made headlines again in 2011 when a group of marine archaeologists discovered five bottles of fine wine on it. It’s a truly magnificent exploration with tons of artifacts to scope out such as boilers, the anchor, and part of the bow.
4 The S.S. Sapona (Broke Apart During A Hurricane & Then Was Used As Target Practice)
The S.S. Sapona was built by US President Woodrow Wilson to be used during World War One but ended up only making one war transport before being sold and used as a smuggling ship. During a run in 1926, the vessel ran aground during a violent hurricane and has been in the Bahamas ever since where it was later used for target practice.
It’s the perfect dive for beginners.
3 The Tabarka (Sunk In Burra Sound As A Way To Stop Enemy Ships From Entering The Flow)
The Tabarka is one of three ships that was sunk on purpose to block enemies from accessing the Flow in Burra Sound, Scotland.
Now lying upside down, it’s a dive that is not for those who hate the cold, but if they can handle it, they will not be disappointed. Some have described the inside as an “underwater cathedral,” what with every inch being coated in colorful anemones.
2 The USCG Cutter SPAR (Sunk On Purpose To Become An Artificial Reef)
The Coast Guard Cutter Spar was another ship that was sunk on purpose to become an artificial reef.
This ship is great for penetration diving due to how open it is and how many large areas there are to explore. For those who want to stay outside the ship, there is an abundance of sand tiger sharks that inhabit the area around it and the chance of getting a souvenir shark’s tooth.
1 The U-352 (Sunk By Depth Charges)
North Carolina has one of the highest shipwreck densities in the world. There are over 600 wrecks that date back to the 1500s.
The U-352 may not be a ship, but it's still an interesting dive for adventurers looking for an amazing dive experience, especially with the increase of sharks that make for an interesting diving experience.
Sources: boatinternational.com, scubatravel.co.uk, trukwreckdiving.com, redbull.com