Diving Artificial Reefs

ReefLast year I managed to get a trip out to Florida to do some diving, Being quite an experienced PADI Diver I decided to go and have a look at the Oriskany reef.

The Oriskany Reef is an artificial reef made from and old air craft carrier its quite a huge 'wreck'. I use the term loosely as it was deliberately sunk to produce a new reef environment.

The Oriskany reef lies off the coast of Florida and is not recommended for novice divers as by US Marine Law it has to be a minimum of 55 feet navigational clearance from the surface to allow shipping to pass comfortably over it.

Having said that it is that far down you do not have to go down very far to get a good view of it. The massive air craft carrier is very awe inspiring site under water and although it had only been there for a short time in relative terms a lot of fish and reef organisms have made it there home.

Although I'm an experienced Wreck Diver I did not plan to go into this wreck merely to observe from the safest outside distance was enough for me. This was a really strange feeling to just above the top of the island of the flight deck.

These artificial reefs are going to transform the diving industry and also do a lot for the oceans ECO system, we need to see more developments in this field as more and more of the reefs that are current around the world do get damaged by inconsiderate divers.

By replenishing and conservation of existing reefs we may enjoy the spectacular array of life that manages to exist within the depths. I must admit I would quite like to do a wreck dive and penetrate the vessel just to see the varieties of fish that have made it there home. Not a deep penetration as this is highly not recommended but more of just inside to see a hanger deck.

This would require technical diving skills and a lot of good experts to get advice from before tackling this proposition I hope to be able to come back to this wreck within the next two years as a to have a more intense experience with this wreck.

The Oriskany when it was reefed landed in the upright position as this is an air craft carrier and the top of the ship is broader than the base it was not known if it was going to do this. It's good that it did because it's more familiar shape that seeing a wreck on its side.

I have dive many wrecks some of the best ones can be found at Scapa Flow in Shetland Islands. After the war a lot of German ships were scuttled there and remain as wrecks they are very popular with divers but it's a hell of a long way to go to get there.

You sometimes think about flying but that cuts down the amount of diving you can do, as most of the Scapa Flow ships are deep dives too.

I hope to find some more artificial reefs to explore and take more photos and keep a good record to see how these artificial grow in diving popularity.

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