The excitement of wreck diving
Wreck diving opens a captivating glimpse into the past. Whether a purpose-sunk artificial reef, a result of an accident or an act of aggression. Wrecks have a story to tell and you can explore it before during and even after the dive.
Each wreck and each dive is unique. It offers a chance to discover unlocked mysteries.This is like spying into another historic and in cases well preserved world. It discloses the entry into the underwater cultural heritage, archaeological resource or even underwater museums like MUSA. Wreck diving is a trip back in time and wrecks are still in transition! Over the time they tie in to the ecosystem and create a world for aquatic life and artificial reefs.
Types of wreck diving
- Non-penetration wreck dives do not enter the inside of a wreck. it is exploring the wreck over and around. and you can peer into the wreck through any opening. This makes non-penetration wreck dives the least hazardous. And still is allows you amazing sights into the wreck and the newly developed ecosystem.
- Limited penetration wreck dives enable a deeper and more immersive experience. And it is limited into the depth of the wreck. You always have an exit and the natural light at sight. Though it is more challenging and you need to be careful of entanglement, injuries. There is sharp sometimes loose metal and a silk distorted sight.
- Full penetration wreck dives venture deep into the wreck beyond the light zone. Advanced wreck diving required preparation and training to always stay safe. However this dives reward with adventurous experiences beyond the recreational dive limits.
The most exciting 5 wrecks
The SS Yongalasunk 1911 during a cyclone with the loss of all 122 passengers and crew. For that reason it is protected as burial site and you cannot penetrate it. The SS Yongala is located in the great barrier marine park 48 nautical miles off townsville coast, Australia. It sits slightly tilt on a sandbank in a depth of 33m. The 107m steamboat attracts fantastic surrounding marine life as its for miles the only formation.
SS Thistlegorm sunk by german bombers in 1941. Later 1956 is was rediscovered by Jacques Cousteau in the read sea. The wreck is at rest near to Ras Muhammad, 25 nautical miles from Sharm el Sheik. The 128m steamboat was built in 1940 as a British armed merchant navy. And it lays in the depth of 30m. This gives you a good access for recreational diving. It is one of the most famous global dives site due to its props, guns and attractions in her intact cargo.
Hilma Hooker vessel, built in 1951 and sunken 1984 in the Bonaire National Marine Park. The cargo ship lays on 30m and provides ample existing exploration opportunities. Hilma Hooker is located between two reefs combining wreck diving and reef diving. However the ship has never been prepared for scuba diving before it sunk and you will still find hazards while penetrating.
Kuda Giriis a fishing trawler, sunken decades back in the South Male’atoll between Maafushi and Dhigufinolhu. And it lies a depth of 18 to 35m on a sandy bank. Kuda Giri is located close to a nice pinnacle with overhangs and caves.The vessel lies upright and it is possible to penetrate. And due to the age you will find it is fully grown with coral and various groups of residence fish schools.
Cousteau’s Precontinent II Jacques-Yves Cousteau created 1962 a project for underwater living environments. The Precontinent II is located in the Sudan off the Sha’ab Rumi coast in a depth of 10m. The environment consists of a jellyfish style home for six diver to stay 30 days and a hanger with underwater exploration scooter. Cousteau’s Precontinent II still exists and is overgrown with corals and presents you a unique dive spot.
Wreck dive training and equipment?
It is a good idea to take a wreck specialty training to get more out of wreck diving, like the PADI Wreck Diver specialty. Even if you just aim for non-penetration or limited penetration wreck diving the training will prepare you to be cautious of hazards and practice wreck specific equipments. Along with a a wreck speciality training two other trainings could makes sense. The PADI Deep Diver specialty prepares you for wrecks situated deeper than the advanced scuba diver limit of 30m. And during the PADI Enriched air (Nitrox) specialty you will learn to dive with enriched air. That will enable you for extended bottom time within the non-decompression limit.
Your wreck diving equipment depends on the type of dive you pursue. However wreck diving generally comes with specific risks: entanglement, sharp metal overhead environments and reduced visibility due to silk or limited natural light. You need to plan each wreck dive individually and decide the suitable gear. However beside specific consideration you should plan for some general items always important for wreck diving:
- a dive light is even for non-penetration a good idea to spread light into dark corner to see the full scenery. For penetration diving this is essential and a second touch for security is recommended.
- a dive knife or dive scissors are fundamental for any wreck dive. Even outside a wreck there is a risk of entanglement and dive knives and scissors will prepare you for solve entanglements.
- a reel is useful to mark your path and while penetrating it can be essential to use it. Silk can distort the visibility at any point during a penetration. A marked path will secure to find the way back.
- a dive helmet is a good investment to protect your head against bruises and injuries from overhangs during a penetration.