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5 Shipwrecks to Add to Your Bucketlist

Rachel Doornekamp   |   September 14, 2020

There’s something so thrilling about diving a shipwreck. From exploring hidden chambers to getting up close to a piece of history, there’s nothing that compares.

Deep Trekker underwater ROVs make exploration and discovery more accessible than ever before. Affordable systems offer professional UHD 4K video for filmmakers and even amateur divers to explore shipwrecks and underwater archaeology without harming sites.

With the ability to have eyes in the water in seconds without the need for a generator or power supply, Deep Trekker ROVs are the perfect tool for exploration in remote locations. Minimal technical expertise is required to operate and there is no extended learning curve. Become an expert underwater filmmaker in hours.

Deep Trekker ROVs have been used for various exploration missions, filming the deep azure mysteries of the sea. But, oceanographers, biologists, archaeologists and ocean conservationists are also using Deep Tekker ROVs to monitor the health of species and marine wildlife, to gain insight to underwater issues, such as ghost fishing and to understand scientific maritime archaeology around the world.

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Sweepstakes, Tobermory, Canada

As a company based in Ontario, Canada we would be remiss to write a list of top shipwrecks without mentioning Tobermory. Home to several fantastic dive spots, Tobermory boasts clear waters and fascinating wrecks. While there are many options to pick from, we chose to focus on Sweepstakes.

Located in Big Tub Harbour in the Fathom Five National Marine Park, Sweepstakes was originally damaged off Cove Island and then towed to Big Tub Harbour where she sank in September, 1885. Built in 1867, the hull of this two-masted schooner is still intact, with the windlass and a portion of the bow rail still in place.

It is often said that the Sweepstakes is one of the best preserved nineteenth-century Great Lakes schooners to be found! Sunk in just 18 feet of clear, calm, water, Sweepstakes is stunning while still being ideal for more beginner divers.

USS Kittiwake, Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman

Conveniently located and found in relatively shallow depths, the USS Kittiwake is a popular wreck and for good reason! In commission from 1946 to 1994, the USS Kittiwake (ASR-13) was a United States Navy Chanticleer-class submarine rescue vessel.

Decommissioned and stored in Norfolk, Virginia, USS Kittiwake gained new life in 2011 when the Cayman Islands added the shipwreck to its world-class scuba diving through the United States Maritime Administration (MARAD).

Sitting at 60 feet, with the highest point a mere 15 feet from the surface, USS Kittiwake is popular with divers, snorkelers and free divers alike. Large holes cut into the hull, as well as the removal of doors, hatches, bulkheads and even some floors, make the wreck straightforward to swim through.

SS Thistlegorm, Ras Mohammed, Red Sea

Constructed in 1941 in Sunderland, UK, SS Thistlegorm was an armed freighter used to carry various war supplies during WWII until she was hit and sunk later that same year. Unlike Sweepstakes and USS Kittiwake, the SS Thistlegorm wasn’t sunk specifically for scuba diving meaning all cargo, including trucks, Jeeps, motorbikes, rifles, even tanks and 2 locomotives, are still on board.

Due to the massive explosion that sank the SS Thistlegorm, much of the midships structure is gone allowing for easy access to the wreck. A range of wildlife such as lionfish, sea turtles, barracuda and moray eels make for an exciting dive.

It’s important to note that current can sometimes be on the strong side around the SS Thistlegorm and visibility can be reduced by silt, weather and water condition dependent.

SS Yongala, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Australia

While not found until 1958, the passenger ship SS Yongala sank in 1911 after encountering a cyclone. At 110 metres long (or 361 feet) the SS Yongala is one of the largest, most intact historic shipwrecks.

Lying within the central section of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, more than 10,000 divers visit the wreck annually. Resting in 33 metres (108 feet) of stunning waters, the SS Yongala boasts a plethora of marine life including sea snakes, eagle rays, giant groupers and even various species of sharks including bull sharks and tiger sharks.

The SS Yongala is typically reserved for more advanced divers, with a strong current and occasional visibility problems depending on the tide.

USAT Liberty, Bali, Indonesia

A United States Army cargo ship torpedoed in 1942, the USAT Liberty is considered by many to be one of Bali’s signature dives. While the ship was initially beached on the island, a 1963 volcanic eruption moved the ship off the beach and into a sandy slope underwater.

Just a short swim from the shore, the wreck is in 3 to 30m (10 to 100 feet) of water and covered in both hard and soft coral and surrounded by vibrant marine life. At 125 m long (411 feet) and mostly intact, the USAT Liberty provides divers with the opportunity to swim in and out of the large cargo holds.

Clear waters, minimal current and relative ease of access make this wreck great for beginners.

Are there any amazing wrecks that you think we missed? Let us know, we would love to add to our diving bucketlists!

Any questions about using ROVs for scuba diving? Our team of experts is here to help. You can also read more about divers and ROVs in our 5 Ways Scuba Divers are Using ROVs and Diver Assistance with Submersible ROVs.