Being able to go wreck diving really is a tremendous opportunity as it enables you to scuba dive through a piece of history and engage in archaeology, whilst enjoying the wonders of the underwater world. Shipwrecks are a fantastic scuba dive experience. Not only are they full of history, but they have also become new homes for creatures including fish and corals.
Of course, all scuba divers have responsibilities towards conservation, which is increased to even higher levels when wreck diving so proper training should be taken beforehand.
Certain wrecks are also positioned in places where additional training is necessary, for example because you have to go deeper or because there are strong currents.
Photo Credit: Nemo's great uncle
Wreck Diving Precautionary Measures
Some of the things you will learn on a wreck diving course include:
- Being mindful of the fact that the wreck will have been under water for many years, sometimes decades or centuries. Many wrecks are incredibly fragile and can disintegrate not just if they get touched, but also by the natural movements of the sea or ocean. Hence, a diver will need to pay close attention to the structure of the ship and make sure they keep their hands away.
- A scuba diver also has to be particularly mindful of the marine life that is found on the wrecks and not disrupt their habitat.
- Wreck divers are always advised to bring emergency tools with them, in particular dive knives, as there is an increased risk of becoming tangled up in ropes and other objects.
- If a diver has the opportunity to go inside a wreck, it is important to remember that there will be no natural source of light so it is important to bring a light as well as a backup. The darkness truly is complete inside a wreck so the last thing you want is for your light to fail when you are a long way away from the exit.
- Wreck divers regularly use a guideline to ensure that exit from the wreck is always possible.
- Just as with any other dive, it is very important to be mindful of the gasses in your tank. Do make sure you always leave at least one third of the breathing gas available to get yourself back out.
Popular Wreck dives around the world
- The SS USAT Liberty in Bali
- Antilla Wreck in Aruba
- The Superior Producer in Curaçao
- The Thistlegorm
- HMS Hermes
Where Can You Get Proper Wreck Diving Training?
There are many organisations that offer specialized training for wreck dives. It is a PADI speciality course and some diving schools will not allow a wreck dive to take place unless the diver has this additional qualification.
This specific course teaches divers about the advanced skills that are necessary for wreck diving in addition to teaching them about the equipment that is required and why. They will also be taught how to manage their air reserves as well as learn how to get in and out of a wreck safely.
Very often, wrecks are in very deep locations and divers should have been taught further skills and training in deep diving, as well as the ability to understand dive tables before attempting these sorts of dives.
A dive table will show a diver which depths he can descend to safely and for how long and whether a safety stop is required.
The Interest of Wreck Diving
Since diving first started and wrecks first started to appear, people have been interested in wreck diving. Of course, many people who go on wreck dives still secretly hope that they will discover some sort of treasure whilst they are there.
However, the main interest is simply the ambience of diving amongst a little piece of history. Divers do need to be careful however and keep some safety precautions in mind at all times. It is possible to get trapped on a wreck dive, and this should of course be avoided at all costs. This is why it is so important to undertake proper wreck dive training, so that a diver is not faced with an unexpected situation that they simply don’t have the skills and knowledge for.
Click here to read why wreck diving is so popular.
Photo Credit: Mark Edley
A wreck dive, as alluring and interesting as it may be, should never be someone’s first ever dive as too many specialized skills are necessary. Even if a diving school does allow untrained divers to go on a wreck dive, don’t let this be your introductory dive.
Also always remember that as a diver, you need to take an active part in conserving nature, so please do not touch anything you shouldn’t. This is not only for your protection as a diver, because the construction of the wreck may be very unstable, but also for the protection of the marine life that has taken up residence in and on the wreck.
Do you enroll in a wreck diving training course? Let us know in the comments below
Would you like to go wreck diving? Feel free to contact us. We have multiple partners that offer dive packages + accommodation and scuba lessons too.
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Rutger Thole is an avid scuba diver and loves to travel, dive and write about scuba diving. Based in Amsterdam he runs bookyourdive.com and at least twice a year he plans a dive trip of the beaten track.