Scuba enthusiasts who want to add a dash of exploration and challenge to their underwater quests should definitely give wreck diving a go. One of the diving disciplines gaining popularity across the globe fast, wreck diving is a perfect way to test your scuba skills and experience marine life from a whole new perspective.
If you don’t know where to dive in for an inspiring wreck-bound adventure, we have five of the World’s top sites here for you to consider before your next daring trip to the underwater realm.
The Yongala, Australia
Known as one of the world’s finest wreck diving site, the Yongala contains the remains of a ship which sank off the Queensland coast during a cyclone in 1911. In 1981, the site was granted protection based on the Historic Shipwrecks Act.
The 109-meter wreck is located 90 kilometers to the southeast of Townsville and the site abounds in colourful marine flora and fauna such as fascinating corals, sea snakes, turtles, bull and tiger sharks, manta rays, octopus and stunning schools of fish.
The Zenobia, Cyprus
Another dive-worthy site, the Zenobia in Cyprus is the the wreck of a roll-on-roll ferry that sank in 1979, a few months after its maiden voyage. Located outside Lanarka harbor, the body of the ship rests on its side, and over 120 vehicles which were onboard when the vessel sank are still inside.
The dive begins at 16 meters, and the maximum dive depth totals 42 meters. The wreck is packed with breathtaking sights and picturesque marine life so you’ll probably want to go back several times to explore it thoroughly.
USS Coolidge, Vanuatu
Formerly a luxury passenger liner for the Pacific-borne voyages of the rich, the President Coolidge was redesigned into a troop carrier in World War II. The ship sank after hitting mines as it was transporting the 43rd Infantry to the Espiritu Santo harbor in New Hebrides.
The vessel rests on its side at the depth of 17-70 meters, bow to stem. Now protected by law as a Marine Reserve, the wreck still holds artillery and jeeps, along with some noteworthy details like the lavishly carved fireplace in the main smoking salon.
USAT Liberty, Bali
Another World War II vessel that sank in the line of combat, USAT Liberty in Indonesia attracts seasoned divers from across the globe. Struck by a torpedo fired from Japanese submarine I-166, the 120-meter ship slid under water, breaking at several points. Resting on a black sandy slope only 30 meters of the Tulamben shore, the Liberty boasts a vivid crust of soft corals, anemones, gorgonians and crinoids.
At 9-30 meters of depth, the ship is not open to dives, but you can still see the guns, anchor chain, boilers, toilets and other items that were onboard during the vessel’s final voyage. In addition to that, the site is populated by over 400 species of fish and other marine critters so you’ll definitely need more than one dive to take it all in.
The Yong Hua, Koh Lipe
A large fish processing boat which sank after a fire broke out onboard in 1996, the Yong Hua rests on its starboard side at 42 meters of depth. Scuba fans diving in Koh Lipe usually reach the wreck by descending along the mooring line, and the wreck touchdown point is at 28 meters.
Sizing 50 meters in length, the wreck is now a home to abundant reef flora and fauna including black and soft corals, gorgonians, sea fans, barrel sponges, snapper, fusiliers, lionfish, scorpionfish, tuna, groupers and chevron barracudas.
Wreck entry is not allowed for safety reasons (due to medium to strong currents), but the site is well worth checking out, especially in the dry season from November to May.
Ready for your next wreck? Then pick your favorite site and dive in – we guarantee you’ll love every minute of it!
What’s your favourite wreck dive? Tell us in the Scubaverse Forum.