Around the world, maritime history is marked by the drama and tragedy of wrecked ships. So today, contemporary adventure seekers, wreck-certified divers and history buffs have many shipwreck sites to choose from. Some are fascinating and eerie reminders of nature’s power. Others speak to man-made conflicts and follies. Either way, destination sites are easy to uncover in most coastal areas around the globe. Here’s a handful of interesting wrecks:
The most famous wreck on Barbados, the Greek freighter SS Stavronikita (known to divers as ‘The Stav’) is part of the Folkestone Underwater Park. The shipwreck lies in 36 meters (120 feet) of water about a 10-minute boat ride from the village of Prospect. After catching fire while at sea, she was purposely sunk in 1978 to create an artificial reef teeming with coral and sea life. This is a rewarding site for experienced divers and underwater photographers.
One of the best preserved 19th-century great lakes schooners, the wreck of the Sweepstakes is accessible by non-divers just offshore near Tobermory in Ontario, Canada. It sunk in 1885, but today it hovers a few feet below the surface of the water as part of the Fathom Five National Marine Park.
Another fully accessible historic shipwreck, this one dating from 1906, is the Peter Iredale, located on the beach near Fort Stevens State Park at Warrenton, Oregon. Only the bones of the ship remain, but they create fantastic photo opportunities, especially at sunset.
MV Bianca C
Known as the “Titanic of the Caribbean,” the MV Bianca C, a 600-foot luxury passenger liner, caught fire in 1961 while anchored off Grenada. It’s now considered one of the best wreck dives in the world and the largest in the Caribbean. The lovely island of Grenada boasts a number of other amazing wreck dives as well, including remains of the Buccaneer, the Veronica L, and the Shakem.
The Sea Tiger
Hawaii boasts a large number of historic wrecks for experienced divers. The Sea Tiger (seized in the early 90s with a cargo of illegal immigrants) sits a short boat ride away from Waikiki Beach on Oahu. It was sunk to create an artificial reef in 1999 and is popular with divers and photographers that want to see varied marine life.
SS Point Reyes
Marin County, in Northern California has a history of shipwrecks along its rocky coastline. The photogenic beached wreck of the fishing boat SS Point Reyes can be found on a sandbar near the town of Inverness. It’s become popular with photographers and tourists visiting the protected coastline of the Point Reyes National Seashore.