Once you cross the surface of the water and dive down to a depth of tens of metres with a DPV scooter, it’s like stepping into a whole new world.
Everyday reality fades away, leaving you feeling like a stranger in a strange land, home to strange, colourful creatures; an environment that – for the most part – has remained unchanged through the centuries, where light struggles to shine through, creating an atmosphere that’s dark and surreal, yet at the same time thrilling and fascinating.
And when the human element intrudes upon this atmosphere, in the shape of a shipwreck, the contrast between the two worlds further enhances this sensation of estrangement, bring a unique experience to life.
There are many places in the USA where experiences like this are to be had by diving with your DPV scooter, which aids exploration thanks to its underwater electric propulsion and navigation systems.
Read on to find out about some of the most famous, fascinating underwater shipwrecks that can be found in the USA.
At Key Largo, in Florida, is Spiegel Grove, a 155-metre-long military ship used for amphibious operations that served in the US Navy from 1955 to 1989, and was scuttled in 2002 to be turned into an artificial reef. The upper deck of the Spiegel Grove lies at a depth of 18 metres, but the lower decks are as far down as 44 metres below the surface. Exploring the inner passages is difficult, and can only be tackled by expert divers, but for everyone else, the exterior of the ship is more than sufficient for an amazing experience, as you observe the surface covered in corals, the helicopter landing platform, the towers and the cranes.
Also in Florida, this time at Pompano Beach, between 24 and 40 metres from the surface, lies the Lady Luck, a sludge tanker scuttled in 2016 to create an artificial reef. The ship has become a fun attraction for divers due to the statues placed on the various decks, depicting real and mythological sea creatures that turn the craft into an underground casino, with a bar and gaming tables…divers are also invited to play during the underground poker tournaments that are regularly organised at the Lady Luck!
Morehead City, in North Carolina, tells of a battle dating to the Second World War, when the US Coast Guard ship Icarus sank the German U-352, which to this day lies at a depth of between 25 and 37 metres. On their underwater scooter, divers can admire the conning tower and the torpedo tubes, taking care not to disturb the tiger sharks that swim around the wreck; they can then go off in search of the other sunken ships in the area, known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic.
San Diego is home to the wreck of the HMCS Yukon, a 108-metre-long Canadian warship. The ship was scheduled to be scuttled in 2002 to turn it into an artificial reef, but the night before the operation was supposed to be carried out, Nature herself saw to it, with huge waves that overturned the ship and sank it. It now lies at a depth of between 18 and 30 metres, and rests on its side, which can be disorienting for divers venturing inside it.
At Oahu, in Hawaii is the YO-257, a 54-metre tanker dating to 1940, which was used in the Second World War, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, before being scuttled in 1989 to become an artificial reef. The wreck lies at a depth of between 26 and 34 metres, and holes have been made in it that not only assist divers exploring the ship, but also allow the rich variety of Hawaiian sea creatures – including sea turtles – to swim into the ship.
SUEX underwater scooters are suitable for long-range dives, both recreational and technical, offering a new way to explore underwater shipwrecks, as well as advanced navigation systems: find out more about our DPVs and contact us for more information.