Wreck Diving Magazine

Wreck Diving Magazine Issue 39

Wreck Diving Magazine is about diving into the world’s history, underwater. Shipwrecks as you’ve never seen them, and stories as you’ve never heard them. Beautifully photographed and written by some of the world’s best wreck divers. WDM is an exciting quarterly scuba diving magazine by divers, for divers.

United States
Wreck Diving Magazine, LLC
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in this issue

8 min.

Where Divers Dare: The Hunt for the Last U-Boat Written by Randall Peffer Lost submarines, especially WWII submarines, fascinate me and the expedition team at Wreck Diving Magazine. Our expedition teams have spent a lot of time searching for lost German, Russian, and Japanese submarines. One of the last enduring mysteries regarding German U-boats has been the search for the elusive 252-foot U-550. Let’s face it, for wreck hunters and wreck divers one of the most elusive and sought-after prizes is a virgin German U-boat. Where Divers Dare: The Hunt for the Last U-Boat is the fascinating, historical narrative of the search for the U-550, the last undiscovered U-boat in diveable waters off the Eastern seaboard of the United States and lost on April 16th, 1944. The search lasted more than twenty (20)…

4 min.

Remembering Legendary Shipwreck Hunter, John Steele One man succeeded at Great Lakes shipwreck hunting longer than anyone else. John Steele, born the night his parents attended an opera in Chicago in 1926, spent most of his life in and around Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and, as an adult, finding success in the banking profession. But in the 1950s, on a whim, he took up scuba diving and, after exploring his first shipwreck in Lake Michigan, he was absolutely hooked. His spring, summer, and fall weekends for the next few decades would be preoccupied with shipwreck hunting and diving. He bought a boat, and in his early days on the lakes, John used World War Two surplus submarine detectors, nicknamed “pingers,” and a German ELAC sonar sounder. In later years, he switched to a Klein sidescan…

16 min.
the return to the ancient antikythera shipwreck of greece

If you hear the words “ancient computer,” what comes to mind? For me, it’s a Commodore 64 – the first “computer” I used about 30 years ago as a young boy to play games and maybe even do a little BASIC programming. But if you’re perhaps of a different generation, with main frame experience maybe, such as my stepfather Frank who would be almost 90 today, then you might even think of large rooms packed with spinning roles of tape. And maybe you just happened to watch a great movie about Alan Turing and you can imagine something as ancient as a WWII computer that was used to help crack the German code – also something that filled a warehouse and had lots of cables and looked like a government-sized…

23 min.
shipwrecks at the top of the world

Icy, desolate, and rock-bound, the Arctic is notorious for the destruction of ships. The five-century quest for a Northwest Passage to connect Europe to Asia witnessed dozens of expeditions across the top of the world from the 1500s through the early years of the 20th century. In an age of global communication, satellite mapping, and travel by air, it may be hard to imagine years spent threading a maze of islands, peninsulas, sand shoals, ice bergs, and frozen seas. To do so in small wooden ships that were easily torn and crushed by ice, in an environment that quickly froze exposed flesh may also beg the imagination. The perseverance of those who went – Elizabethan “gentlemen explorers,” naval officers, whalers, fur traders and scientists – gradually revealed a land hitherto known…

13 min.
hms king edward vii - british bulldog

My eyes finally adjusted to the ambient light as I ascended from the wreck from a depth of 117m/386ft. As I looked down, the shadowed, panoramic picture and sheer, unexpected size of 16,500 tons of pre-dreadnought battleship below me became apparent. My small area of exploration seemed laughable in comparison; we were dealing with one huge shipwreck. The date was 16 June 1997 and the days to follow would see a new generation of deep wreck divers explore and document this deep virgin wreck. Logging a total of twenty-four, manned dives with six hours on the wreck, the King Edward VII project would be the first of its kind in Europe to see sport divers physically exploring a wreck deeper than 100m/330ft. HMS King Edward VII left Scapa Flow for…

12 min.
shinkoku maru – death from the night sky

The sun set on Truk Lagoon on the evening of February 17, 1944. A lumbering, 500-foot-long ship slowly came to a stop in the choppy waters; its anchor let loose from the hawsepipe and slipped below the tropical waters in search of sandy bottom. The wind swung the ship around and the anchor grabbed hold. The Japanese 10,000-ton, fleet oiler, Shinkoku Maru, was then secured to the seabed. Repeated strafing and torpedo runs kept the Shinkoku on the run, within the confines of the lagoon, throughout the entire day. Captain Hidenoshin Nakajima instructed his first officer, Tokiya Mizutani, to maintain blackout conditions for their vessel during the evening. The crew rested easier under the cover of darkness, for they narrowly escaped destruction from raiding, carrier-based, US Naval planes. Many other Japanese…