Where the past meets the present, experience the rush of excitement that few other dives can duplicate, the challenge of discovering, exploring and entering wrecks is something few divers can resist.
From the thrill of witnessing history underwater to the exhilaration of navigating through a submerged vessel, wreck diving is an adventure that lures divers into its captivating realm. Whether you’re a seasoned diver or a beginner looking to expand your horizons, this guide will provide an in-depth understanding of wreck diving and what it entails.
Wreck diving refers to the exploration of shipwrecks, aircraft wrecks, and other submerged structures. This form of recreational diving is popular among both technical and recreational divers for a multitude of reasons:
· It allows divers to delve into a rich marine ecosystem that develops around the artificial reefs formed by the wrecks.
· Wrecks provide a unique opportunity to observe machinery and other structures that are typically inaccessible to casual observers.
· The historical significance of the wrecks adds an educational aspect to the adventure.
· Wreck diving challenges divers to hone their skills and manage risks associated with wreck penetration.
· It allows divers to appreciate underwater cultural heritage and archaeological resources.
· Wrecks often house artifacts of historical, artistic, and monetary value, making them attractive to treasure hunters and collectors.
Wreck diving can be categorized into three main types:
1. Non-penetration diving: This involves swimming around the exterior of the wreck without entering it.
2. Limited penetration diving: This involves venturing into the “light zone” of the wreck’s interior, where natural light from an exit can be seen.
3. Full penetration diving: This involves diving beyond the “light zone” into the deeper, darker parts of the wreck.
Each type poses a different set of challenges and requires a varying level of skill and experience.
While wreck diving offers unparalleled thrills, it also comes with its share of risks. Divers may encounter strong currents, sharp metal edges, and the inherent dangers of diving in overhead environments. Additionally, there is a risk of entanglement with fishing nets and lines often found snagged on wrecks.
To address these risks and ensure safe and enjoyable wreck diving experiences, the PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) offers a specialized Wreck Diver course. This course is designed to equip divers with the skills needed to safely navigate around and within wrecks.
The PADI Wreck Diver course offers divers the opportunity to:
· Explore the exteriors and the interiors of wrecks within safe depth limits.
· Discover fascinating artifacts.
· Master specialized finning techniques.
· Learn to survey wrecks, use lines and reels, and avoid common problems.
However, it’s important to note that this course does not provide comprehensive technical training for deep wreck penetration. Further advanced training is necessary for divers seeking to explore the interiors of wrecks beyond the sunlight zone.
The PADI Wreck Diver course is divided into two main sections: Independent Study and In-Water Training. The Independent Study section, which can be completed through PADI eLearning, covers different types of wrecks and common wreck diving hazards. The In-Water Training section involves four dives with an instructor, during which divers will survey and map a wreck, practice special finning techniques, and possibly use penetration lines.
The minimum age requirement for the PADI Wreck Diver course is 15 years. It’s also necessary to have completed the PADI Adventure Diver certification or a similar qualifying certification from another training organization.
For those interested in experiencing the excitement of wreck diving, Hurghada, Egypt offers an ideal location. Known for its clear waters, abundant marine life, and fascinating wrecks, Hurghada is a dream destination for divers. With local diving shops offering a variety of scuba diving in Hurghada packages, including the PADI Wreck Diver course, it’s an excellent place to embark on your wreck diving adventure.
In addition to the standard scuba gear, wreck divers may need additional equipment such as:
· Dive lights
· Slate and underwater compass for mapping and navigation
· Line and reel for practicing wreck penetration
· Other equipment appropriate for wreck diving in the specific area
Wreck diving is a thrilling and rewarding adventure that offers a unique perspective into the past. However, due to the inherent risks involved, appropriate training and equipment are crucial. With the right preparation and a sense of adventure, wreck diving can provide an unforgettable underwater experience.
So, whether you’re planning on diving in Hurghada or any other wreck-rich location around the globe, gear up, dive in, and discover the allure of the deep.