Famous Shipwrecks of Bermuda & Top Dive Sites
With the past five centuries of marine history, Bermuda easily tops the list with its famous shipwrecks of all times. And if you happen to be a scuba diver or want to be one, you won't get anywhere the unbeatable reef, wreck and marine life combination that Bermuda offers.
We were very fortunate to meet Teddy Tucker, the legendary scuba diver in Bermuda who collected priceless treasures from many famous shipwrecks of Bermuda. Over long absorbing hours, we heard many fascinating stories of the wrecks directly from him and his wife. Of course, Graham Maddocks, a longtime veteran of Bermuda’s waters had also given us a great history lesson on some of the most interesting shipwrecks of Bermuda.
National Museum of Bermuda
too has lots of details about the wrecks. There are more than 300 shipwrecks in the waters surrounding the island. Some 20 shipwrecks are believed to have been wrecked off the Bermuda island itself and are lying close to the shoreline.
The shipwrecks that lie in Bermuda's water reached their ill fate mostly due to the hidden and hazardous Coral Reefs
rather than the dreaded influence of Bermuda Triangle
. There are treacherous underwater coral reefs spanning across some 200 square miles of water area near Bermuda.
In the past the captains of the ships didn't have sophisticated navigational system and had to largely rely on the compass. They often failed to detect the hidden underwater reefs that rose from the bottom of the ocean and split the hull open. Over the years, divers have collected many valuable treasures from them including Treasure Coins
The Popular Wrecks
In the following section you will know about our findings of some of the famous shipwrecks of Bermuda and the fascinating stories around them including their background, how they got wrecked, wreck locations and what were found in them.
Captained by George Somers, this was the ship that carried Bermuda's first settlers in 1609. Unless it was caught in a sever storm and got wrecked in the rocks near Bermuda's eastern end, the first settlers would have never arrived in Bermuda and human settlement would have never taken place in the island. So the wrecking of Sea Venture has a great significance to Bermuda's history.
One of the most famous shipwrecks and the largest in Bermuda, Cristobal Colon is a 499 foot Spanish transatlantic luxury liner that sank in 1936.
This is another very famous Bermuda Shipwreck. A 192 foot American schooner loaded with general cargo, she sank in 1943.
When it comes to seeing a completely intact sunken ship, the Hermes is by far Bermudas most popular wreck dive. A 165 foot steel hull buoy tender, it was decided to sink her in 1985.
The Xing Da:
Smuggling was nothing new to Xing Da. Going back as far as the Vietnam War, she smuggled everything from contraband to weapons for the North Vietnamese Army. This 221-foot pirate ship was sunk in 1997.
Another Bermuda's famous shipwreck, a 245 foot early vintage steel freighter with a cargo of cotton, she sank in 1879.
A French 60 gun man-of-war, that sank in 1838. Resting in 35 feet of water, this warship's nine foot long cannons are still intact.
A 225 foot side paddlewheel steamer, she served as a Confederate blockade runner. She sank in 1864.
A 300 foot steel hulled freighter built in 1872, she was sunk on her maiden voyage in 1873.
A 236 foot side paddlewheel steamer, she was sunk in 1863 while running a Civil War blockade.
A classic sunken sailing ship, this 205 foot English iron hulled bark sank in 1880.
A 385 foot Greek cargo steamer, she sank in 1940 after breaking her back on a reef.
Originally a German vessel and later captured by the British, Pollockshields crashed into a coral reef and sank in Bermuda waters on August 22, 1915 near Elbow beach.
A 228 foot Norwegian steamer, she was stranded on North East Breakers in 1920.
: This is the newest wreck in Bermuda ... a 175ft ship which was brought in to Bermuda in 2005 as a floating casino, but was subjected to multitude of legal issues due to the gaming laws in the island. It remained mooed in St. David's at the eastern end for years. The rusted ship was finally sank in April 2017 about 12 miles off the shore at the eastern end for divers to explore.
Here is a link to a small map that can help you to understand where these Bermuda shipwrecks are located: Map of Bermuda shipwrecks
By Raj Bhattacharya
Raj, a seasoned travel writer and Bermuda destination expert, has extensive global travel experience. This website reflects his profound insights, garnered over nearly two decades of dedicated findings and research on the island. Raj has assisted countless Bermuda-bound visitors by providing direct, personalized responses to their queries and imparting his wealth of knowledge through this platform. This site serves as an indispensable guide for those seeking informed and reliable insights into Bermuda's treasures.