Wreck diving is a type of recreational diving where shipwrecks are explored. To quote writer Peter Benchley, “the entire history of Bermuda can be documented by the hundreds of shipwrecks that lie in the coral reefs that ring the islands.” Bermuda is one of the world’s best destination for underwater wreck diving.
Although most wreck dive sites are at shipwrecks, there is an increasing trend to scuttle retired ships to create artificial dive sites. Shipwreck diving enables sport divers to visit the past. Each wreck is considered a time capsule into history waiting to be explored. Sport divers also make interesting artifact finds while exploring the remains of sunken ships. This enables the sport diving community to make its own contribution to historians and archaeologists by giving them the information needed for wreck identification and further research.
Reasons for diving wrecks
A shipwreck is attractive to divers for several reasons:
(1) it is an artificial reef, which creates a habitat for many types of marine life
(2) it often is a large structure with many interesting parts and machinery, which is not normally closely observable on working, floating vessels (3) it often has an exciting or tragic history
it presents new skill challenges for scuba divers
it is part of the underwater cultural heritage and may be an important archaeological resource
(4) it provides a first-hand insight into context for the loss, such as causal connections, geographical associations, trade patterns and many other areas, providing a microcosm of our maritime heritage and maritime history.
Note: Wreck diving requires proper training and experience. In many countries, wrecks are legally protected from unauthorized salvage or desecration.