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Wreck Diving

Wreck diving


Wreck diving is classed as both recreational diving and technical. The clue is in the name and it involves searching wrecks….not only ships, but planes, cars anything that was once above the surface and unfortunately is now resting on the seabed in a watery grave.  Now before we go on, although wreck diving can be exciting and fun, it  is also very dangerous. You need to be confident of your capabilities as well as the restrictions and dangers that come with entering a wreck that’s been laid bare to the elements for many a year …



“I am absolutely enraptured by the atmosphere of a wreck. A dead ship is the house of a tremendous amount of life—fish and plants. The mixture of life and death is mysterious, even religious. There is the same sense of peace and mood that you feel on entering a cathedral.” — Jacques Yves Cousteau, Oceanographer


wreck diving


Things you might want to consider before wreck diving :


  • Make sure you are up to date on your courses
  • You have a good sense of direction because us men folk can get lost easily and as we don’t normally ask for directions,  we either get lucky or get lost ..
  • If your wreck has been explored previously there’s a good chance that someone will have drawn a layout – do your homework
  • Make sure retractable reels or lines are attached to something secure, so if the silts rear up you have  life line
  • Three torches
  • A knife for untangling
  • Remaining safe within your gas management skill levels


The above are just a few examples.


ship wrecks

The rule of thirds for gas management is considered and widely used for wreck diving. 1/3 of the gas for the descent and exploration, 1/3 for the ascent and 1/3 for reserve for those just in case moments.


When you are inside the wreck, divers usually use different ‘finning’ methods i.e. frog kick. Your buoyancy control is also imperative in a wreck. Wrecks can vary in depths, the older wrecks tend to be deeper.


A ship wreck can be exciting in many ways firstly you are exploring the unknown. You don’t know what creature has moved in or might be hiding in the deep dark corners of the hull, the discovery of antiques,  a chest of gold left by pirates – Captain Jack Sparrow might be still sat at the helm …only to be seen when the full moon casts its shadows across the waves at night – or the pilot sat in his cockpit with his leather straps on his cap catching the current  – hey you might laugh but know never know.


Each wreck obviously has a story to tell about the possible lost souls that went down with it. The sailor who was at sea for many a year on his last voyage going home to his wife and children, who were babies when he left to make his fortune but never made it back to land  … sea trade that kept countries alive … every wreck will have  a story to it …

There are three different levels of wreck diving: (No sniggering boys and girls, I didn’t make up the names)


  • Non penetration which is the least risky
  • Penetration where you have to be careful but should be ok if you can see the way in and way out “within the light zone”. Watch out for silt distribution.
  • Full penetrations are when you’re going into the depths of a vessel and it is in complete darkness. The risks are much higher in these situations for obvious reasons.


Decompression sickness could come in to effect in wreck diving as divers sometimes forget “time” and don’t allow for the ‘what if scenario’s’ and leave it to the last minute to ascent. Always be aware of the original plan you put in place before you entered the water and keep to it.

Worldwide laws and regulations are in place for the safeguarding of wrecks. For example in the UK there are three acts in place  – {Wiki}


  • Protection of Wrecks Act 1973: certain designated, charted, historic or dangerous sites may not be dived without a license
  • Protection of Military Remains Act 1986: all military aircraft and 16 designated ships are considered war graves that can only be dived with a license. Other non-designated ships        may be dived providing the divers do not enter, disturb or remove artifacts
  • Merchant Shipping Act 1995: all wrecks and cargoes are owned: each artifact removed must be reported to the Receiver of Wreck


Wrecks that are protected are denoted as such on nautical charts (such as admiralty charts); any diving restrictions should be adhered to.


If you have any stories you want to share please let us know and we will add them to our site …

discover wreck diving



There are over 3 million wrecks around the world so there are plenty to explore.




“It is a quiet and peaceful place – and a fitting place for the remains of this greatest of sea tragedies to rest.” Robert Ballard, Discoverer of the Titanic Wreck