Diving into a shipwreck is an experience like no other, and there are some truly remarkable wrecks around the world that are perfect for divers of all levels. From the SS Thistlegorm in Egypt to the USS Kittiwake in Grand Cayman, here is a look at some of the best wreck dives in the world. The SS Thistlegorm is located in Ras Mohammed, Egypt and is widely considered to be one of the most spectacular wreck dives in the world. This former luxury ocean liner was converted into a troop transport during World War II and now lies on its side between 17 and 70 meters deep.
The wreck is fully protected by law and both it and the surrounding seabed have been designated a Marine Reserve. Exploring the outside of this 490-foot wreck is as interesting as venturing inside, with large piles of ammunition, two steam engines and an anti-aircraft gun still in place. The Fujikawa Maru is another large shipwreck with abundant marine life that requires several dives. This rolling shuttle was launched in 1979 but sank just a few months later on its maiden voyage. It lies on its side, on the outskirts of the port of Lanarka, with a maximum depth of 42 meters.
The ferry was carrying more than 120 vehicles, which are still there. The Umbria is an Italian ship that set sail through the Suez Canal and Red Sea with a shipment of ammunition just before Italy entered World War II. In the Red Sea, the captain heard on the radio that Italy would declare war imminently and had the ship sunk. The Umbria now lies at a depth of between 16 and 70 meters and offers interesting findings. The SS President Coolidge was a huge luxury ocean liner that came into service as a troop transport during World War II. In early 1942, it hit two mines while trying to enter the port of Espíritu Santo Island, was stranded on the nearby reef and then slipped to its current position, at a depth of 70 to 240 feet.
The 5,340 evacuated soldiers left all their personal and military belongings on board, creating a fascinating underwater museum of artifacts. The Fujikawa Maru, located in Chuuk Lagoon in Micronesia, is an excellent place for diving with crystal clear waters and lack of current. With the main superstructure at a depth of just 30 feet, this wreck offers something for divers of all levels. It also includes a shipment of Zero warplanes in one of its warehouses. The USS Kittiwake, located off Grand Cayman's West Bay, is an excellent place to dive into a wreck for the first time while offering more experienced divers a unique taste of a pristine wreck. With its summit just 27 feet in the water, divers can enjoy much of it too.
Like Grand Cayman's Kittiwake, the USS Oriskany, located off Pensacola Beach in Florida, is a fairly young shipwreck and it took time for marine life to colonize its new reef. The U-352, located off Cape Hatteras on North Carolina's Outer Banks, is considered one of the best shipwrecks in North Carolina. This German submarine was sunk by the USCG Cutter Icarus in 1942 and rediscovered in 1975. Its helmet is almost intact which restricts its penetration but divers can still explore its bridge, flag bridge and cockpit with radar and navigation equipment still in place. Finally, there's the Iro Maru, located off Palau in Micronesia. This Japanese oil tanker is one of more than 60 military ships that were sunk during World War II and it sits upright at a depth of 110 feet. It's an artificial reef heavily embedded in soft corals and anemones with large schools of red barbier fish and peepers abound. These are just some of the incredible wrecks around the world that offer an unforgettable diving experience for divers of all levels.
Whether you're looking for an easy dive or something more challenging, these wrecks are sure to provide an unforgettable experience.