Everything You Need To Know About Wreck Diving

April 11, 2024 4 min read

divers diving over a wreck

If you’re looking to add a historical dimension to your diving experience, why not give wreck diving a go? Wreck diving is an exhilarating and fascinating way to develop new skills and put your existing ones to the test, but it’s not without its risks and nuances so it’s important to be fully prepared for the kind of adventure you are embarking on. Let’s take a closer look at what wreck diving is all about.

What Is Wreck Diving?

Wreck diving is a diving speciality that will give you the skills you need to safely dive underwater wrecks. Wreck divers will typically explore shipwrecks, but it’s not uncommon for other submerged structures like aeroplanes and cars to pique interest too. For anyone familiar with quarry diving you’ll know wrecks can be quite varied. These different kinds of wreck diving vary depending on the diver’s skill level and the type of wreck. If you are tempted but have some questions about what to expect, we have put together some hints and tips below.

Why Try Wreck Diving?

While you may have some reservations about embarking on the more challenging diving experience that is wreck diving, it’s well worth developing the skills and plucking up the courage to venture closer to wrecks.

Wrecks offer a fascinating insight into maritime history, with a sense of exclusivity granted to those adventurous enough to penetrate them. The treasures you get to experience when up close with a wreck are unlike anything you might see from the surface. Wreck diving also grants divers insights into a really diverse range of marine life. Many wrecks become artificial reefs over time and provide shelter for rare and interesting creatures and fauna.

Wreck Diving Safety Tips

With reduced visibility and the additional hazards that come with a confined environment, wreck diving is undoubtedly risky. However, the challenges of wreck diving can be carefully mitigated with proper care and attention. You should always follow the below safety tips when giving wreck diving a go.

1. Complete your training first

Before quite literally diving into wreck diving, make sure that you have completed the appropriate training first. The PADI wreck diver speciality course will equip you with all the skills you need to safely plan your dive and penetrate a wreck.

2. Plan carefully and stay within your limits

When the time comes to put your skills to the test, remember your training and plan your wreck dive first. Research the layout and individual challenges of the wreck you plan to dive and stick to your plan when you are exploring. It can be tempting to get carried away and push yourself when you are in the water, but conditions can change quickly when wreck diving and you should always stick to your limits. If you do find yourself in trouble or are not comfortable with your surroundings, signal to your buddy immediately.

3. Refine your buoyancy skills

Buoyancy is a crucial aspect of any successful wreck dive and you should always refine your buoyancy skills before taking on the challenges of a wreck. You will need to be confident that you can control your buoyancy, so check your weights and make sure that you are comfortable with your BCD before embarking.

4. Don’t touch!

And remember, when you’re diving in a wreck you’re diving around some incredible but often fragile history. Touching and knocking the wreck could disrupt it and potentially bring you and your dive buddies into danger. It’s also important to resist the urge to touch any part of the wreck to keep it preserved for future generations of divers.

Wreck Diving Equipment

As we have touched upon, your equipment will also play a huge role in keeping you safe when wreck diving. You’ll be happy to know that the essential kit list for wreck diving is not too different to what you’d take on a less challenging dive, but it is still worth investing in a couple of specific bits of kit, namely a good dive torch to improve visibility and a knife to free you should you get stuck in the wreck.

Regardless of water temperature, most divers will choose to wear a wetsuit when venturing into wrecks to protect the skin from the extra hazards. If it’s really cold, a drysuit may be the preferred choice.

How To Try Wreck Diving

If wreck diving sounds like an experience you’d like to try, it’s incredibly easy to get started. Make sure you have completed your PADI wreck diving speciality first (which you can do with our instructors at Aquanauts!) and then get diving.

For your first few wreck dives, it can be advantageous to dive with a guided or more experienced group who have experience with that specific wreck. Not only will this ensure your safety as you build your confidence in this new way of diving, but you can also benefit from expert knowledge of the highlights of the wreck.

Aquanauts runs frequent wreck diving trips which are perfect for both new and experienced wreck divers alike. You can book our trips here and are always welcome to get in touch with our expert team should you have any questions about getting into wreck diving.

Noeleen Smith
Noeleen Smith

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