Wreck diving

From Academic Kids

Wreck diving is a type of recreational diving where shipwrecks are explored.

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Reasons for diving wrecks

A shipwreck is attractive to divers for several reasons:

  • it is an artificial reef, which creates a habitat for many types of marine life
  • it often is a large structure with many interesting parts and machinery, which is not normally closely observable on working, floating vessels
  • it often has an exciting or tragic history

Wreck diver training

Many attractive or well preserved wrecks are in deeper water requiring deep diving precautions. Penetration diving, where the diver enters a shipwreck is an advanced skill requiring special training.

Some Diver training organizations provide wreck diver training courses, such as PADI Wreck Diver, which some divers take before wreck diving. Other organisations, such as BSAC, which have many nearby wrecks and fewer other underwater attractions do not separate wreck diving from other types of diver training.

Missing image
Wreck_diving_hms_hazardous.jpg
A notice proclaiming the protected status of HMS Hazardous near Portsmouth, England

Protection of wrecks

In many countries, wrecks are legally protected from unauthorised salvage or desecration. In the UK, three Acts protect wrecks:

  • Protection of Wrecks Act 1973 : certain designated, charted, historic or dangerous sites may not be dived without a licence
  • Military Remains Act 1986 : all military aircraft and 16 designated ships are considered war graves that can only be dived with a licence. Other non-designated ships may be dived providing the divers do not enter, disturb or remove artifacts
  • Merchant Shipping Act 1995 : all wrecks and cargoes are owned: each artifact removed must be reported to the Receiver of Wreck

External links

The Nautical Archaeology Society (http://www.nasportsmouth.org.uk/)

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