Shipwreck Diving in Barbados
18. STAVRONIKITA: The Stav is the most popular wreck in Barbados waters. She was a 365 foot Greek freighter built in Denmark in 1956 and originally christened the Ohio. On August 26, 1976, while en route from Ireland to the Caribbean and carrying a cargo of 101,000 bags of cement, the vessel caught fire, killing six crew members and injuring three others. An explosion that followed the fire destroyed all of the ship’s radio equipment, making it impossible for the stranded crew to call for help. Twenty four crewmen drifted in the open sea for four days before being rescued. The Stavronikita was then towed to Barbados.
A year went by, and the vessel was still anchored off Carlisle Bay, Barbados. On October 24, 1977 , she was purchased at an auction for the sum of $30,000 by the Parks and Beach Commission. The ship was then stripped of all the machinery and brass that could be salvaged. She was cleaned of pollutants, namely the 70,000 gallons of oil being carried in her fuel tanks and towed to a spot just 400 yards offshore on the west coast of the island. On November 21,1978, the U.S. Navy demolition crew set seven charges totaling 200 pounds and blew holes in the ship’s hull, causing her to sink.
1. CARLISLE BAY MARINE PARK: With its 6 shipwrecks in close proximity, this is an excellent site for divers of all levels of experience, from beginner to expert. The great diversity of brilliantly coloured marine life including frog fish, sea horses, rays, barracudas, octopus, reef squid, mackerel, moray eel and more provide more to admire than we have eyes to look upon.
The park is roughly marked out underwater by old cannons , anchors and pylons to lead the way from one wreck to the next. We are very lucky to call this site home and as our house-reef we are in the park every afternoon at 2 pm. Snorkelers are encouraged to join in. This site is accessible as a shore dive however for convenience and safety sake is done daily by boat. This site is the location of our monthly Project AWARE Coral Watch Dive Operator coral bleaching assessment. For information please see our About Us & Marine Conservation pages, and our events calender for the next excursion.
Berwyn: Carlisle Bay ~ 20ft ~ A 70 ft long World War I French
Tug Boat sunk in 1919 by her own crew. The Berwyn sits between 7 and 10 feet below the surface depending on the tide. As a result of the calm water in the bay and the age of this wreck the Berwyn is covered in marine life including healthy hard and soft coral growth and their associated reef creatures.
Ce-Trek: Carlisle Bay ~ 45ft ~ The Ce-Trek, a derelict boat constructed of cement was sunk in January 1986. This shipwreck sits in deeper water on the northern edge of the park and is home to nice coral, soft coral and sponge growth.
Eillon: Carlisle Bay ~ 55ft ~ This 110ft drug boat was tied up for ~6 years in the Bridgetown careenage before it was sunk on 8th June 1996 in Carlisle Bay Marine Park. The wreck is easily accessqible for penetration and has an air pocket in the bow big enough to a conversation at 25′ under.
Bajan Queen: Carlisle Bay ~ 35ft ~ She was Barbados’ first tugboat named the “Pelican” when the Bridgetown Harbour was being constructed in the 1960’s. A decade later, as more modern tugboats were purchased; the Pelican was then converted to a party boat called “Bajan Queen”. The Bajan Queen holds many memories for thousands of Barbadians and visitors alike. After years of operation as the party spot the Bajan Queen was donated to the Coastal Zone Management Unit. From there with the assistance of our very own Andre Miller the Bajan Queen was cleaned up and sunk on 19th May 2002 in Carlisle Bay Marine Park. She now sits only a few feet below the surface and is accumulating some excellent fish life and good coral diversity.
Cornwallis: Carlisle Bay ~15ft ~ A Canadian freighter sunk by a torpedo from a German U-Boat during World War II. This wreck was relocated from a very high boat traffic region of the bay to this Marine Reserve on 22nd October 2003.
Barge: Carlisle Bay ~ 12ft ~ A Naval Landing Barge found in Carlisle Bay. This wreck is now home to numerous reef fish including the puffer’s bigger cousin the porcupine fish.
5. FRIAR’S CRAIG: Off Asta Hotel ~30ft – 90ft ~ A 70ft long freighter, sunk on 2nd July 1985 after 10 years at anchor in Carlisle Bay. This wreck has lots of bottom growth, and has broken into three (3) pieces due to a lot of surge. ASTA REEF: This reef is done as a combination dive with Friar’s Craig. It has lots of marine life including snappers, barracudas, angelfish and stingrays, a great reef for photography.