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Most people only see shipwrecks or sunken ships on the Discovery Channel or those cool timeless Jacques Cousteau underwater scuba diving documentaries. Wreck diving in Hawaii or wreck diving in Oahu for that matter is a blast. Here at Oahu Diving we do these kinds of Oahu shipwreck adventures every day! Daily charters in Oahu for shipwreck scuba diving, wreck diving in Hawaii or plane wrecks start at 7:30 or 8:30 depending on what area we wreck dive. Early but well worth it. Once on the diving boat we will head out to the scuba diving wrecks. To the right you can check out some of wrecks we dive on daily.
Consider all wreck diving or shipwreck scuba diving to be an advanced dive and should only be done with a qualified SCUBA instructor unless of course you are familiar with the inherent dangers of wreck diving. Scuba diving on wrecks in Hawaii can be tricky if not down right dangerous. Most areas are plagued with strong currents and erratic surface conditions. Not to mention the fact that you will most likely be penetrating certain areas of the wreck. It is critical that the dive be properly planned and executed in a safe matter considering 120 foot depths are not uncommon. Deviating from your plan is not an option on these types of dives. Be careful, the shipwrecks in Oahu are razor sharp with pieces of metal and barnacles that are spread all over. Eels love these types of artificial homes and can be found in almost any hole or pipe raising the danger factor a little bit more. Wearing gloves is a great idea for protection on the wreck however eels with their razor sharp teeth will have no problem slicing through neoprene gloves making those gloves useless.
Bottom times vary on the wrecks located here in Oahu. Take for example the Corsair plane wreck. Now, this plane wreck sits at 108 feet and there are not decks or other levels located above the wreck. Therefore this dive has a very short bottom time of around 15 minutes. Shipwrecks on the other hand will allow the diver to do what is called multi-level diving. Therefore you will not have to remain at the deepest part of the dive. Ok, so let's talk about the YO-257. This shipwreck is among Oahu's best wreck dives in Hawaii. It bottoms out around 120 feet, HOWEVER there are numerous levels to finish up the dive OR start the dive from for that matter. So a YO-257 dive could last 15- 30 minutes depending on where you want to explore and how deep you go to. The YO-257 has a unique friend that lays about 100 feet away. The San Pedro wreck. Another artificial reef put down by the Atlantis Submarine company. BTW, here is a cool video of the San Pedro shipwreck. The San Pedro sits in 80 feet of water on the west side of Diamond Head. This is a great dive and usually has plenty of sea life. At times the Atlantis Submarine actually passes within feet of divers, allowing us to see everyone one inside. But the main thrill is the San Pedro. The San Pedro is very raw, weather has beaten this shipwreck into submission therefore penetrating this wreck should only be done in certain areas. Mainly the upper deck stern area of the wreck. If you watched that video on the San Pedro wreck you can see it does have several dangers that need to be discussed before entering. Over hangs, sharp poles and of course the marine life can all pose a potential hazard to the unsuspecting diver. At Oahu Diving, our instructors know these wrecks better than their wives. If you are interested in doing any of these dives feel free to call us anytime at 808-721-4210 or just e-mail.
A word from the Hawaii Scuba Professor
I love shipwreck diving in Oahu. On every wreck dive there is a sense of exploring history and on big ship wrecks you can almost feel the awesome power the ship once had. Any scuba diver can experience the thrill of diving shipwrecks here in Oahu safely if you follow some basic guidelines. First off wreck diving is an advanced divers activity so if you are not an advanced open water diver go with a certified instructor (that's us). Without specialized training and extra equipment we need to limit our wreck dives to surveying the exterior of the wreck or making very limited penetrations inside. If you decide to take your dive inside, make certain you always keep an exit to daylight in sight. The adage “plan your dive and dive your plan “ is especially important here. Establish time and depth limits and stick to them. Make you dive plan conservative and leave a good air reserve to deal with unexpected conditions (start your return to the line or surface at around 1000 psi). It is a good Idea to wear a full wet suit or dive skin for several reasons. In addition to thermal protection it protects you from cuts, scrapes and stings. Gloves are always a good idea for obvious reasons. Always carry a dive knife or line cutter. Wreck are fishing line and net magnets and entanglement could be a danger if you are unprepared. On a wreck be very careful where you place your hands. On established wrecks eels often live in anything hollow. Be careful of currents. In a strong current you can enjoy the calm on the down current side of a wreck and as you swim past an opening be knocked for a loop. If the wreck is deep always descend and ascend along a fixed line. Be safe and plan your dive well !
Jeff - Open Water Scuba Diver, Red Cross Instructor, Airline Dispatcher
Thanks for visiting Oahu Diving's shipwreck and wreck diving information page- your source for shipwreck diving in Hawaii. Wreck diving in Hawaii.