For those who are passionate about wreck diving, there are some incredible sites around the world that offer a unique and unforgettable experience. From the SS President Coolidge in Vanuatu to the Gunilda in Canada, and from the SS Yongala in Australia to the SMS Kronprinz Wilhelm in Germany, these wrecks are some of the best places to explore underwater. The SS President Coolidge was originally built as a luxury cruise ship, but was converted into a troop transport ship during World War II. In 1942, it was hit by friendly mines after the captain received no information about safe passage to the port.
The ship was left ashore and all but two of the sailors on board survived. Today, the boat is between 65 and 230 feet (20 and 70 meters) and is a nationally protected dive site. Vanuatu divers can explore the various decks and cellars and find weapons, guns, trucks and “The Lady”, one of the vestiges of the ship's former glory. The Gunilda was a luxurious steam yacht considered the most opulent ship of the early 20th century.
In 1911, it ran aground at McGarvey's Shoal in Canada, which extends from 280 feet (85 meters) to 1 meter (3 feet) above the surface. The passengers abandoned the ship and rescue efforts began, but the hull filled with water and the ship sank 82 meters (270 feet). Today, the wreck remains perfectly intact and as picturesque as the day it sank, but only technical and trimix divers can contemplate its beauty. Australia's
SS Yongala, arguably the best shipwreck in the Southern Hemisphere, sank during a cyclone in 1911 and killed all 124 people on board.
Today, the highest point of the cargo and passenger steamboat is only 52 feet (16 meters) and descends to 108 feet (33 meters). To maintain the remarkable good condition of the hull, divers are prevented from entering the boat. This serves to reduce the negative effects that air bubbles have on the sunken ship. While many of these wrecks are below recreational limits, the SMS Kronprinz Wilhelm is easily accessible from a distance of 40 to 115 feet (12 to 35 meters). The size of this 480-foot (146-meter) vessel can be seen at a shallow depth, but its armament is best enjoyed from advanced depths with the use of Nitrox. The only ship in this top 10 that has been sunk twice is the Bianca C.
In 1944, before its completion, it was torpedoed in tow. It was later raised, renamed and finally completed two years later. After 12 years of varying success as a passenger cruise ship, it caught fire while anchored just off the coast of Granada. Of the 673 people on board, only two died. Today, this impressive 590-foot (180-meter) wreck is between 100 and 164 feet (30 to 50 meters), between a reef system and open ocean.
This way you can enjoy both reef and pelagic action in an already fantastic dive. Dives usually include a visit to its pool (38 m) and work along its bow, ending at its tip (30 m).After surviving its first exposure to atomic firepower, the USS Saratoga would eventually sink under impact of a second test. It landed on sand 177 feet (54 meters) deep with its bridge at 18 m. Today, much of this wreck still remains unexplored.
As Bikini Atoll remains uninhabited, its marine life is also amazing; Saratoga has become home to an overwhelming number of species. The wreck of HMNZS Waikato is located off Tutukaka's picturesque coast in Northland, New Zealand. Sunk as an artificial reef in 2000, this Leander class frigate was part of Armilla patrol during Falklands conflict. With its impressive twin 4.5-inch guns still on display - now encrusted with anemones and hydroids - and at a maximum depth of 98 feet, Waikato offers excellent diving for everyone from beginners to most experienced wreck divers. For those with training and experience in technology diving, San Francisco Maru attracts from 200 feet deep.
See three Mitsubishi tanks on deck at 160 feet - one on top of other - as result of impact this cargo ship suffered when six 500-pound bombs opened it and hurled it downwards at full speed crashing into background. If time and gas permit, trucks at bow - 170 feet away - are also waiting to be discovered. If you're passionate about deep shipwrecks then 650-foot-long SS President Coolidge might be perfect for you. This luxury cruiser converted into World War II troopship was hit by mines in 1942 and later sank to depth between 69 and 240 feet. Divers should not miss encounter with “The Lady” - ceramic figure in first-class dining room showing woman riding unicorn. Because exposed location Pacific Gas must be scheduled perfectly; variable or strong currents make it more suitable for advanced divers. Stern is 143 feet underwater so watch depth carefully as you descend mooring line; sunk in 1986 this 213-foot boat now home to enormous amounts marine life such as lionfish ghost pipefish batfish cardullos shoals snappers sweet lips. This World War II aircraft rests almost upside down in 30 feet water Maalaea Bay with engine propeller little deeper about 100 feet away; intact fuselage wings slowly sit silty bottom covered significant coral growth. This small site can be home white-tipped reef sharks resting under wings airplane endemic Hawaiian lionfish hidden under hard coral.
A nuclear test explosion 1946 sank 880-foot aircraft carrier off Bikini Atoll Marshall Islands. While commitment reach South Pacific destination it's approximately 30-hour boat ride from airport neighboring Kwajalein Island well worth effort get here; bridge starts 40 feet deck 90 feet giving divers relatively enough time explore. Aichi E13A seaplane rests....