Diver on Bikini Atoll Shipwreck, Marshall Islands

Marshall Islands

ABOVE THE WATER

The Marshall Islands can be found midway between Australia and Hawaii and are composed of five islands and 29 coral atolls. After almost four decades under US administration as the easternmost part of the UN Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, the Marshall Islands attained independence in 1986 under a Compact of Free Association. The climate in the Marshall Islands is tropical, with sunny days and balmy nights. It is the perfect destination for the ultimate off-the-beaten-track getaway.

Marshall Islands

UNDER THE WATER

The blue waters surrounding the island boast over 800 species of fish and 160 species of coral, the main diving attraction however, remains at Bikini Atoll, the site made infamous by a severe nuclear testing program in the 1940-50s. Following the end of WWII, the USA gathered a ‘mock’ naval fleet to test the effects of atomic bombs on large fleets. As a result, you can now find spectacular wreck diving, including battleships, cruisers and an aircrafts, a selection that can be found nowhere else on earth! Bikini was the first World Heritage Site for the Marshall Islands and is a bucket-list destination for most serious divers. Some of the famous wreck sites include:

The USS Saratoga

The Saratoga is 880 feet in length and lies at a depth of around 60 metres, her bridge however sits at about 12 metres, meaning she can be dived by all experience levels. There are a myriad of penetration points on the ‘Sara’, countless deck levels and elevator shafts leading to further hangars and passages full of airplanes, guns, bombs, depth charges, torpedoes and other military equipment. Additionally, numerous Hellcat fighters lie strewn around wreck on the ocean floor. The marine life surrounding the wreck is prolific, with dozens of sharks cruising the crystal clear waters acting as guards to this incredible underwater playground.

The USS Saratoga Wreck

The USS Saratoga Wreck – Photo by Blancpain Ocean Commitment

The USS Saratoga

The USS Saratoga

The HIJMS Nagato

The Nagato was a Admiral Yamato’s flagship of the Japanese navy that lead attack on pearl harbour. Now lying almost completely upside down on the ocean floor, the ship makes for a fantastic dive with guns suspended above you with sharks patrolling them as you dive alongside the wreck.

HIJMS Nagato

HIJMS Nagato

HIJMS Nagato Wreck

HIJMS Nagato Wreck – Photo by Blancpain Ocean Commitment

The USS Arkansas

The Arkansas was a 562 ft long American Battleship. She now lies in 60 metres of water, upside down on the ocean floor. Your entire dive will be based around the port side of the ship as the starboard side rests tightly against the sand.

USS Arkansas

USS Arkansas

USS Arkansas Wreck

USS Arkansas Wreck – Photo by Pete Mesley