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The World's Best Wreck Dives

The World's Best Wreck Dives

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S.S Yongala, Australia

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Looking for adventure in 2020? From torpedoed battleships to deliberately downed cargo boats, here's our guide to some of the best wreck dives in the world...

Located in the world heritage listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park the 110 metre steamship sank during a cyclone in 1911. All 122 on board were killed and the wreck was not discovered until 1958. The site is now protected under the Historic Shipwreck Act and is on the “bucket list” for many fanatics who want to experience one of the world's best shipwreck dives.

The wreck is famous due to its prolific variety and size of marine life. Divers can be lucky enough to see giant groupers, giant marble rays and giant trevally while swimming among schools of barracuda, eagle rays, turtles and sea snakes.

Picture courtesy of Adobe Stock

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Mary Celestia, Bermuda

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Divers are spoilt for choice in Bermuda as the island has more shipwrecks per square mile than anywhere else in the world. However, if you are limited for time the Mary Celestia is a must.

The side paddlewheel steamer was used by the Confederate Army during the American Civil War as a blockade runner while smuggling guns, ammunition and supplies to the troops. She is believed to have made at least five successful trips to the south before she sunk in 1864 while being piloted by local Bermudian John Virgin.

The ship hit headlines again in June 2011 when a group of international marine archeologists discovered five bottles of fine wine — 147 years after she first sunk. One of the bottles were uncorked in March last year but unfortunately was reported to taste primarily of seawater.

Mary Celestia lies in approximately 17 metres of water and as well as searching for old bottles of wine there is plenty to see with artifacts such as the boilers, anchor and part of the bow clearly visible.

Picture courtesy of Bermudadiver/Reddit

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S.S. Sapona, Bahamas

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Wrecked off the coast of Bimini Island in the Bahamas, S.S. Sapona has a remarkable history that has attracted a strong following of shipwreck divers.

Commissioned by US President Woodrow Wilson to serve in World War One, she only completed one wartime transport before the armistice was signed. After the war she was sold and spent a few years rum smuggling during the prohibition era. S.S. Sapona ran aground during a violent hurricane in 1926 and has been lying in the Bahamas ever since.

However, her wartime service was not over, with the US armed forces using S.S. Sapona for machine gun and bombing target practice during World War Two.

These days her concrete hull is teeming with vibrant marine life and corals, and thrill seekers often climb her nine metre tall superstructure to jump into the crystal blue waters below. With depths of up to six metres, S.S. Sapona is an easy dive for beginners, and can be visited as part of a private cruise or superyacht charter.

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