Deep Wrecks

From Rust to Rock

Deep in the engine room of Heian Maru, Truk Lagoon, Micronesia. Photo by Pete Mesley.

For years and years, people have often asked me, “Hey, why aren’t you a cave diver?” And I would respond simply, “When I have dived all the wrecks of the world (twice), I will then think about diving Wet Rocks!”

Malta's Deep-Water Wrecks

Diver on wreck of the Polynesian, Malta (45-65m)

Ranging from calm shore dives for beginner divers to technical diving on elusive, unmarked wreck sites, which can only be found via depth sounder—diving in Malta has it all. Just beyond Malta’s dramatic underwater landscapes of strange rock formations, chimneys and caves, visitors can discover Malta’s intriguing and piquant past.

Lake Zurich: Deep Cold-Water Wreck Diving in Switzerland

Ship's wheel on the second wreck recently found in Lake Zurich, Switzerland. Photo by Jens O. Meissner and Helmut Spangler.

Why travel far when good things lie right at your doorstep? In our case, the “good thing” was Lake Zurich, a midsized lake in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. The city of Zurich is located on the northern end of the 40km-long lake, which still holds some secrets in its depths. In this article, we present two wrecks recently found in the lake and the journey of their exploration.

Bikini Atoll

Torpedo tubes on USS Lamson

Bikini Atoll—without a doubt—is the undisputed top wreck diving destination on the planet. I remember when I first started diving back in 1989, I would sit around the table and listen to members of our dive club in South London, salivating at the concept of diving Bikini Atolls’ Saratoga, an aircraft carrier and one of the world's largest diveable wrecks.

SMS Friedrich Carl

The armored cruiser Carl Friedrich was constructed in the year 1902 at the well-known shipyard of Blohm & Voss in Hamburg, Germany. The armored cruiser had a length of 126m and was equipped with an impressive array of guns and torpedo launchers. She was the second ship of the Prinz Adalbert class when she was commissioned by the Imperial German Navy on the 12 December 1903.

Pushing the Altitude: The Quest to Document the SS Tahoe

Historical photo of SS Tahoe, courtesy of the US National Park Service. (Public domain)

June 2017 — Fifty-six-year-old explorer Martin McClellan is determined to revisit the SS Tahoe to conduct an extensive photogrammetric survey of the wreck. The 169ft (52m)-long 19th century steamship, which was scuttled in 1940, rests intact on a steep underwater slope at a maximum depth of 470ffw (144mfw) beneath Glenbrook Bay in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, USA.

France: Focke-Wulf 58 Wreck

Tail of Focke-Wulf 58. Photo by Severine Bar.

There are places in the world where time seems to stand still, where you will find contemporary witnesses of events that can take your breath away. I visited just such a place more than 100 meters deep in a French lake—Lac du Bourget. Here, for more than 70 years, rests a Focke-Wulf Fw 58C—a German WWII airplane. This particular aircraft is one of the last of its kind that exist in the world.