While cruising through North Carolina, take a moment to stop and see what’s under the glassy blue waters of the Atlantic. You may be surprised to find out that along the coasts of North Carolina lies a graveyard of shipwrecks! If you’re an explorer like us, start dreaming of deep dives amongst the wreckage off of Morehead City, North Carolina.
The North Carolina coastline is actually the permanent resting place for over 2,000 shipwrecks that have found homes amongst the sealife and sediment on the ocean floor. Not all of these wrecks were coincidental or casualties – the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries Artificial Reef program, the Carteret County Artificial Reef Association and local fishing organizations of the NC shores have been purposefully sinking vessels for years to serve as artificial reefs. The new hiding spots and platforms make a fun home for a variety of underwater species – making diving and fishing in this area that much more fun!
A lot of the sunken ships amongst the 2,000 are World War II casualties. They include tankers, fishing boats, submarines, cargo ships, schooners, luxury liners, and more hit by enemy U-boats. These monuments are truly haunting to see, but the underwater ecosystems they now support are mesmerizing to swim through.
Olympus Diving takes guests out on guided dives of about 20 of the wrecks off of Morehead City including submarines, tug boats and more. If you head to their website here, you can check out images of the individual vessels and also see if you can swim with the sharks while visiting! Specifically, the Papoose, or the W.E. Hutton, is a great location for intermediate divers where you can swim with huge sand sharks and sea turtles.
If you find yourself in Hatteras, North Carolina, visit the North Carolina Maritime Museum: Hatteras. The Museum offers information on nearly every shipwreck off of this
Please note: At the time of publishing, due to the rapidly changing situation from the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) throughout the United States, the marina(s) mentioned in this blog post may already be temporarily closed or will close temporarily due to limitations in place by local government authorities.
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Photos via www.olympusdiving.com/