Nothing gets the attention of divers like a sunken wreck. The allure of wreck diving has drawn many divers into choosing it as a specialty. And what’s not to like about a wreck dive? It’s more than just a dip into the water to look at the little fishies. It’s a chance of viewing a part of history, a vision of something unnatural, a work of mankind so as to speak that over years has become a part of the natural underwater environment and is home to hundreds of different marine species since their watery demise. With thousands of sunken ships and boats spread across the oceans, few stand out as exceptional diving sites. Here’s a look at the Top 10 Wrecks to Dive in the World-
10. SMS Markgraf, Scapa Flow, Scotland
The Scapa Flow body of water famous for the German Navy Vessels scuttled in fear of being captured is quite a diving delight with the remains of 7 of the 78 ships under Scapa Flow waters today. The Markgraf is one of three Konig class battleships to see in the area but is arguably the most accessible due to being at a depth of only 24 meters. This 26,000 ton battle ship with 177 meters in length has its hull opened up, allowing the diver a unique view into the torpedo room and a swim right through the stern. The immense size of the wreck makes it difficult to cover in one dive and it can be dived on two levels.
9. Umbria, Wingate Reef, Sudan
This 1912 German freighter turned Italian cargo ship scuttled just off the coast of Sudan, to avoid capture by the British offers great marine life without the crowds making it a great wreck to dive. The Umbria at an impressive 400ft offers more than just the ship itself. At the time it was sunk the ship went down with a huge loot of cargo- 360,000 aircraft bombs, Fiat cars and its lifeboats are strewn. Put simply, the wreck has sufficient features and associated marine life to keep any diver busy for days on end. There is the propeller, the cars inside the hold, the cavernous space of the engine room, the ghostly remains of the galley, and the intact railings covered in bright red sponges. This is the only wreck in the Red Sea to rival the Thistlegorm which we’ve rated at No.2
8. Zenobia, Larnaca Bay, Cyprus
10 minutes from Larnaca, Zenobia the 10,000 ton ferry sunk on its maiden voyage in 1980 after something went terribly wrong with its computers. Luckily for divers this Swedish Roll-on/Roll-off ferry was carrying more than 120 vehicles, including articulated lorries, when she sank in 130ft of water. With good diving for all experience levels, one can opt for a relatively simple 16 meter dive or a more complex and advanced dive to the lower car deck if you’re are an experienced scuba diver. There is plenty of sea life from Sea bream, grouper and even barracuda but most memorable is the huge ferry that has an almost eerie ‘ghost ship’ feel to it. Several dives later and you’ll still not be able to do justice to this wreck.
7. MV Captain Keith Tibbetts, Cayman Islands
This 330-foot Russian frigate brought deliberately from Cuba and sunk off the coast of Cayman Brac in Sept. 1996 to form an artificial reef is an absolute pleasure to dive. Snappers, nudibranchs and moray eels have taken up residence in the ship, which storms have now broken in two making it easier to access for divers. The canons fore and aft as well as the wheel house tower are major draws to this dive site.
6. SS Yongala, off coast of Ayr, Australia
This enchanting Australian passenger ship lying within the Great Barrier Reef Park lay undercover for over half a century since it sank in a cyclone in 1911. Today home to giant groupers, schools of trevally, cobia, turtles and sweeping rays among plenty of others, the ship, only a 30minute journey from the shore is known as one of the top wreck dive sites in the world to dive.
…Continued in World’s Top 10 Wreck Dives (Part-II)