Scuba Diving on the Crystal Coast

banner image of a scuba diver on the crystal coast

Scuba Diving on the Crystal Coast

The Crystal Coast has been named one of the top dive destinations in the world. Scuba diving on the Crystal Coast is an absolutely thrilling experience. What makes the Crystal Coast such a landmark in the diving community? Dive enthusiasts describe our coast as a “wreck diver’s dream” due to the thousands of shipwrecks sitting right off our coast. Some wrecks are located just a few miles out from our coast in just 30-foot depths making them easily accessible for locals and vacationers alike.

The North Carolina coast has been named “The Graveyard of the Atlantic” for being the final resting place for over 2000 vessels. You have the perfect opportunity to explore a unique underwater world full of well-preserved sunken vessels teeming with sharks, turtles, and a rainbow of fish.

Diving Centers

  • Olympus Dive Center: Morehead City | (252) 726-9432
  • Diver Down Charters: Morehead City | (252) 240-2043
  • Discovery Diving Company: Beaufort | (252) 728-2265
  • Fisherman’s Inn: Atlantic Beach | (252) 726-2273

Explore a Whole New World

The underwater world of the North Carolina coast is just waiting to be explored. Whether destroyed in war or sunk to be part of artificial reefs, our coast is a huge part of the Graveyard of the Atlantic. There is a significant number of vessels that can be found under our sparkling waters.

The German U-352 is one of the most popular dive spots. It was the first U-boat to be sunk by a Coast Guard vessel in WWII. Another frequent dive site is The Spar, which was sunk to be part of an artificial reef in 2004. The Spar is a 180 foot Coast Guard Cutter vessel that is a favorite hangout for sand tiger sharks and thick schools of all sizes of fish. The Indra is a very popular inshore dive location sitting in only 60 feet of water and just 10 miles off Emerald Isle. The 328 foot Indra was sunk for an artificial reef in the summer of 1992.

Triple Wreck Dive, Morehead City, NC with Olympus Dive Center

The U-352 was a German submarine that was used during the notorious U-boat attacks during WWII along the NC Coast. On May 9, 1942, it was sunk by the Coast Guard Cutter ‘Icarus.’ This site was discovered in 1974 by Olympus owner and Captain, George Purifoy, and several friends. The history behind this site has been televised and featured on the History Channel and is one of North Carolina’s best-known dive sites. The Coast Guard Cutter Spar was sunk as a diver-friendly wreck just yards from the Aeolus. Known as a popular spot for Sand Tiger Sharks, the 180 feet long and 37 feet wide Spar sits on its site at a 45-degree angle in 100 feet of water and is completely intact, allowing many opportunities for a diver to penetrate the wreck. The Indra is a popular inshore wreck. Sitting in only 60 feet of water, it allows for longer penetration and exploration. This wreck is also extremely popular for training dives as the deck is in approximately 40-45 feet of water. This 300-foot landing ship/repair freighter is sitting in approximately 60 fsw about 10 miles off Emerald Isle. This freighter was sunk as an artificial reef on August 4, 1992. This dive is loaded with aquatic life and ideal for penetration dives! Also, an EXCELLENT site for training.

Here are 5 more videos spotlighting scuba diving on the Crystal Coast

  1. Diving the U352 and the Aeolus With Olympus Dive Center
  2. Crystal Coast Wreck Diving
  3. Diving the Indra Wreck off the Southern Outer Banks
  4. Southern Outer Banks Scuba Diving
  5. Scuba Diving on the North Carolina Coast

Enjoyed this post? Check out these ideas as well for your vacation!

Have you tried diving on the Crystal Coast yet? If not, what’s holding you back from this incredible experience?