1. SS Thistlegorm, Red Sea, Egypt
The British armed freighter SS Thistlegorm had only
taken three voyages before it was sunk by German bomber planes in
the early hours of 6th October 1941. Today, she rests at a max
depth of 30 metres in the northern Red Sea and is only
reached by liveaboard. But it's worth the voyage as divers will see
relics of the past, from ammunition to motorbikes, alongside
batfish, barracuda, tuna, turtles and more.
2. San Francisco Maru, Chuuk Lagoon,
One of the casualties of Operation Hailstone in
World War Two, San Francisco Maru is an underwater museum
of wartime artefacts, from mines and guns to tanks and bombs,
providing an eerie insight into the past. The wreck itself rests
between 42 and 64 metres so divers will need their deep diver and
wreck specialities, but it's definitely worth it - trust us.
3. Fujikawa Maru, Chuuk Lagoon,
Another one from Chuuk
Lagoon, the Fujikawa Maru rests from nine down to 33
metres, making it suited to both open water and experienced divers.
Originally a passenger and cargo ship, the wreck's largest draw is
its air compressor which looks strikingly similar to Star Wars'
R2D2. Divers can also explore the engine room and parts of Zero
4. Hilma Hooker, Bonaire
It was the summer of '84 that the Hilma Hooker was
discovered stashed with over 25,000 pounds of marijuana in Bonaire. The ship was consequently
impounded and anchored next to the dive site Angel City, where five
days later it met its watery demise. Today, divers can explore the
coral encrusted wreck straight from the shore, as well as two
neighbouring coral reefs.
5. USS Liberty, Bali, Indonesia
The easiest wreck dive in the world, the USS Liberty is
located a mere 30 metres offshore from Tulamben in east Bali and rests at a shallow depth of
five metres down to 30, making her perfect for both snorkellers and
divers alike. The ship, measuring a whopping 120 metres in length,
is carpeted in both hard and soft corals that harbour a huge
variety of marine life, from ghost pipefish to frog fish, bumphead
parrotfish and turtles. Insider tip: dive her early in the morning
or in the late afternoon to avoid the crowds.
6. SS Yongala, Australia
Nicknamed Australia's Titanic,
the SS Yongala sank in 1911 after being caught in a
cyclone off the coast of Queensland. Measuring 110 metres in length
(making her Australia's largest wreck), the SS Yongala lay
undiscovered for more than half a century, making her one of the
best-preserved wrecks today. Everything about the wreck is
supersized, be it the towering structures of coral that sprout
across the ship to the huge schools of fish that cloud the
structure, alongside eagle rays, turtles, barracuda, sea snakes...
you get the gist.
7. Bianca C, Grenada, Caribbean
One of the most famous wrecks in the Caribbean, the Bianca C has
a chequered past having been bombed by Germans in World War Two,
re-launched as La Marseillaise, a luxury cruise ship, being sold to
Panama under a new name, Arosa Sky, sold back to an
Italian family who named the boat Bianca C, and eventually
sinking after catching fire off St George in Grenada. Today, divers can explore the
180-metre long coral encrusted vessel, looking out for eagle rays,
eels, parrotfish and more. The wreck reaches a maximum depth of 50
metres so is suited to advanced divers.
8. The Iro Maru, Palau
Another casualty of World War Two, the Iro Maru was one
of ten in a fleet of Shiretoko class freighters before meeting her
watery demise on 31 March 1944 during Operation Desecrate. The
vessel lies upright at 40 metres and is scattered with relics from
the past, including ammunition, guns and even gas masks.
9. Okikwa, Coron, The Philippines
One of the World War Two casualties of Coron Bay,
Okikwa's deck lies at 12 metres, making her suited for
open water and advanced divers. The wreck extends 160 metres and is
20 metres wide, meaning divers can enter the wreck to explore its
coral encrusted interior, looking out for all manner of macro life,
anemonefish and so much more.
10. Wreck MV Karwela, Gozo
Reaching a maximum depth of 30 metres, the 48 metre ex-floating
disco MV Karwela was scuttled in 2006. Spanning three floors,
divers can penetrate the wreck to see the grand central staircase,
while out on the sun-deck there is a rather unusual Volkswagen
Beetle shell - all in crystal clear visibility.