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Wrecks - full of secrets

Wrecks: full of secrets

Wrecks – why do they attract divers?

Wrecks are sunk in the wake of a battle, because of an unfortunate accident, or deliberately to create a tourist attraction. For years, they have been attracting people eager to experience new, extraordinary things. Diving to sunken ships is an exciting combination of communing with the power of nature and discovering history. It is not surprising that wrecks receive undying popularity.

How many wrecks are there in the oceans?

So far, “only” tens of thousands of wrecks have been discovered and documented. It is estimated, however, that the oceans and seas may be hiding as many as three million! Among them are the remains of some of the oldest boats known to exist (e.g. Pesse canoe – 8000 BC), as well as wrecks of ships which have appeared in the latest news around the world. Often times, searching for a ship or plane lost due to a catastrophe ends in the unexpected discovery of the remains of a completely different vessel. A great recent example of this is the search and recovery mission for the Malaysia Airlines aircraft from 2014. Two other wrecks were unexpectedly found during the efforts.

What causes all the sinking?

Most often it occurs that ships are sunk as the result of unfortunate accident (be it from a collision with another vessel, a fire, or even an explosion). However, deliberate actions are often the causes of sinkings as well. A very large number of wrecks are the results of war battles. A single battle on the Atlantic during the Second World War consumed over 4,500 ships. Among them were warships, submarines and commercial vessels. However, ships were not always sunk as a result of an enemy attack. In 1919, the famous self-destruction of the German fleet in Scapa Flow took place. German officers preferred to sink their own ships than to allow them to be taken over by the victorious Entente states.

Seaplane wreck from Palau
Seaplane wreck, Palau

Sinking ships for tourism

Unfortunately, many wrecks are inaccessible to recreational divers due to their extreme depths. However, there are people who professionally deal with shipwrecking for touristic purposes. Ships designated for this fate are subject to a special preparatory process. First of all, the ship is emptied of all fuel, hydraulic oils and any other substances that could threaten the underwater environment. As much of the structure that is most susceptible to corrosion as possible is also removed. After all this, the ship is significantly lightener than it previously was and needs to be loaded with additional ballast. After all these precautions are taken, the ship is transported to the designated location and sunk. One example of a deliberately sunken wreck is the P29 Cirkewwa patrol boat sunk in Malta.

What wrecks are worth seeing in Europe?

Below is a list of some of our favorite wrecks to visit in Europe:

Curtis Walsh

Canadian, cold water lover. His diving adventure began while he was studying at University of Toronto. He did not suppose that diving would ever become anything more than just a passion. He likes especially Norway - fiords, theirs biodiversity and the beauty of Norwegian landscapes. He share his passion with the others working as diving instructor.

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