Wreck diving is one of the most exhilarating water activities available, particularly in North Carolina, which is home to a wide range of shipwrecks that make for some very fascinating wreck dives. Although any “best of” articles are largely based on opinion, we hope this post will help you find your way to three of the best wreck dives North Carolina has to offer.
The wreck of the U-352 U-boat is considered by many to be one of the absolute best wreck dives in all of America, let alone North Carolina. Located on the Outer Banks of the North Carolina coastline, this German U-bat was shipwrecked in the early days of 1942, at the height of WWII. On May 9th of that year, the U-352 was torpedoed and sunk by the USCG Cutter Icarus. Divers will find that the general visibility, much of the time, is around or over 100 feet, though turbulent waters can make for slightly lowered visibility. The ship is mostly intact, though the hull has some visible damage. Divers will also find some coral surrounding the boat, as well as lionfish and baitfish at times.
Located well over 100 feet below water, the Proteus was a vast 390-foot liner before it was sunk in the summer of 1918 in a fateful collision with that of another ship, the SS Cushing. While the wreck site primarily consists of waves of debris, divers will find that the stern of the ship, as well as the propeller and port anchor, are still largely intact and make for exciting dives. With a visibility commonly over 70 feet, divers will be able to sight a myriad of different species of fish, such as sharks, barracudas and amberjacks.
A WWI German gunship, the USS Schurz was also sunk in the summer of 1918 nearby Beaufort Inlet by a drastic collision that left the ship severely damaged and unable to continue on. Divers will be greeted with colorful reefs that extend around and beyond the shipwreck, as well as first-hand glimpses of sharks and a wealth of baitfish. Visibility is often at or around 70 feet.