Dive Nanaimo

Nanaimo's Sunken Treasures

Sea life abounds in the cold, clear ocean that surrounds Nanaimo. Jacques Cousteau considered these waters "the best temperate diving in the world, second to only the Red Sea."

Nanaimo is also home to 3 fascinating wreck dives. In 1997 The HMCS Saskatchewan, a 366-foot navy destroyer, was sunk off the shores of Nanaimo to create an artificial diving reef. The Saskatchewan was joined on the ocean floor by the HMCS Cape Breton, a retired Canadian Supply Ship, now recognized as the World's Largest Artificial Upright Reef. In February of 2005, the Nanaimo Dive Association sank a third vessel, the RivTow Lion, a retired deep sea rescue tug. The Rivtow rests at a manageable depth of about 50 feet in Departure Bay, making it a great dive for beginners seeking some experience before plunging down deeper to the Cape Breton or Saskatchewan.

There are several professional dive shops in Nanaimo who will assist with all your dive needs, including certification, hire and charters.

What you'll see on a charter:

  • Big Marine Life- Divers often spot octopus, sea lions, seals and wolf eels. You can snorkel with playful seals at Snake Island
  • Sunken Ships - Descend onto the HMCS Saskatchewan (Navy destroyer), the HMCS Cape Breton (supply ship), and the Rivtow Lion (deep sea rescue tug).
  • Brilliant Colour - See pink coral, purple starfish, and orange sea pens
Click on the link below to see a full-colour map and guide to the dive wreck sites:

  • Sunken Dive Wrecks Map
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    Last modified: May 18, 2017   Page #: 89
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