Brunswick Beaches Diving Locations
Diving along the Brunswick Beaches
The most southern beaches of North Carolina make an ideal launching point for a variety of dives. Seafood lovers can embark on a Lobster Dive, as there are several sites where divers have caught spiney and shovel-nosed lobsters. The sites range in depth from 60 to 120' of water, and while Spiney lobster may not be taken out of season, the shovel-nosed lobster has no season and can be enjoyed anytime. These areas are rock and reef formations, and a good dive for the experienced diver.
Divers in the Brunswick Beaches can also explore the Frying Pan Reef, a rock reef at the end of Frying Pan Shoals, with depth ranges from 40-70'. A large variety of sea life can be observed here, including fish, coral, and lobster, and diving under the legs of the Tower is an exhilarating experience.
Of course, like all other diving locales on the Carolina Coast, the wrecks in this area are the main attraction, and divers have their pick of a number of historical and fascinating shipwrecks.
- The City of Houston: A 290' long single engine steam ship, The City of Houston was carrying passengers and freight on a regular run between New York and Galveston. She sank on October 23, 1878 in 90' of water 34 miles off Southport. Passengers were taken off by a passing steamer and landed in Florida. The wreck holds a number of different types of artifacts from the 19th century lifestyle including: Haviland china, a silver bowl, a gold broach, railroad wheels, wooden tools, toys, candles, vases, marbles, china and bisque doll heads, ironstone china, medicine bottles, spice bottles, lamps, brass clocks, portholes. With visibility ranging from 60-100', this is a good dive for the intermediate diver.
- Civil War Wreck: This wreck appears to have been carrying war supplies after the Civil War. There is an abundance of Springfield, Enfield, and Sharps rifles along with US, SNY, and Silver Leafed Officer's belt buckles. Brass handled sabers can also be found along with cannon balls, shot, and bullets. Many leather items can be found and recovered with care. The wreck lies in 80' of water.
- Raritan: A 251' freighter, the Raritan sank in 1942 in 80' of water. She is in two sections, with the bow being separated from the rest of the wreck just forward of the boilers. The bow and stern sections are intact, making penetration possible. The Raritan makes a good, deeper step for the new diver.
- Mt. Durfys: A 400' Greek freighter, sunk in 1936, she lies in 30' of water, with a depth of 45' at the stern. The Durfys is a good novice wreck with great shelling for the novice and experienced diver.
- Brick Wreck: This wreck is a twin masted sailing ship, sunk around the turn of the century with a cargo of asphalt bricks. Approximately 130' in length, the wreck lies in 30' of water, making it a good dive for the novice diver.
- George Weens: Originally launched as the 140' wooden Coast and Geodetic Survey ship George S. Blake, the Weems ended her career off the Frying Pan Shoals in 1908 when she burned and sank in 40' of water. With normally very clear water, the Weems is one of the prettiest wrecks off Southport. Of the 24 portholes, only two have been found, octagonal in shape.
- Sherman: Originally the 200' blockade runner, Princess Royal, the Sherman was sold after the "War of Northern Aggression" and became a freighter. In January of 1874, she sank in 50' of water while on a voyage from New York to New Orleans, with a general cargo. She was identified in 1977 by finding the pitt log with her name inscribed. While visibility is not the best (usually only 15-20'), many different types of artifacts can be found, including port holes, glass insulators, hardware, leather shoes, U.S. military belt buckles and Winchester model 1866 rifles.
- Rosin Wreck: This 380' freighter sank some time in World War II in 110' of water. First dived in 1984, she has yielded quite a few portholes, and numerous brass artifacts. The wreck is lying with a 45 deg. port list, the top of the wreck being in 84' of water.
- YDS-68: This is a 110' navy seaplane-retrieval ship, which sank in 1952. She is lying upside down in 100' of water. First dived in 1984, there is much for the experienced diver to discover.
- Ore freighter/18 Fathom Wreck: This 400' freighter sank some time in World War II in 130' of water, making it a dive for the more experienced diver. This wreck was first explored in 1984, and divers have yet to find a clue as to her name.
- The Hebe: A 250' Dutch freighter, the Hebe collided with the St. Cathan on April 11, 1942 and sank in 110' of water. The bow of the wreck was remarkably intact with the remains of a 1940 Chevrolet automobile in the forward cargo hold until hurricane Hugo caused parts of the wreck to collapse. She still remains one of the finest dives off the southern coast. Scattered around the wreck are numerous beer bottles from Maricabo.
- The St. Cathan: This 210' British anti-submarine trawler sank within 5 minutes after colliding with the Hebe on April 11, 1942. The St. Cathan is lying on an even keel in 110' of water, with the bow deck gun at 80'. The stern has a twin 50 cal. machine gun with a couple of unexploded depth charges close by. Many brass artifacts can be found inside the wreck in the clear water.
- Composite Sail Ship: This iron ribbed wooden hulled sailing ship is lying in 140' of water, making this a dive for the experienced diver only.