Possible dive sites visited:
On Nov. 21, 1978, the US Navy put 200 pounds of explosives in the 361-foot (110-meter) Greek freighter known as the Stavronikita and hit the button to blow it up. It didn’t take long for the 22-year-old ship to go down. Today it’s one of the most popular dive sites in Barbados. The Stavronikita’s fate was sealed on Aug. 26, 1976, when the vessel caught fire, killing six crew members and injuring three others. An explosion that followed the fire destroyed the ship’s radio equipment, making it impossible for the stranded crew to call for help. Twenty-four crewmen drifted in the open sea for four days before being rescued. The Stavronikita was then towed to Barbados. In 1977, it was purchased by the Parks and Beach Commission. It was stripped of all the machinery and brass that could be salvaged, cleaned of pollutants and towed to a spot 1,200 feet (365 meters) offshore on the west coast of the island, where it was sunk.
Carlisle Bay Marine Park
There are six shipwrecks at this marine park. And sunken ships aren’t the only eye-pleasing thing to gawk at here. There’s an intense diversity of colorful sea life. See everything from frog fish, sea horses, rays, barracudas, octopuses and reef squids to mackerels and moray eels. The park is roughly marked out underwater by old cannons, anchors and pylons to lead the way from one wreck to the next. Here is some information on the shipwrecks at the marine park:
The Berwyn, a 70-foot (21-meter) tugboat, was sunk in 1919 by its crew. The Berwyn sits about 10 feet (3 meters) below the surface of the water and is covered in marine life, including healthy hard and soft coral growth and associated reef creatures.
The 45-foot (14-meter) Ce-Trek, a derelict boat constructed of cement, sank in January 1986. It sits in deeper water on the northern edge of the park and is home to nice coral, soft coral and sponge growth.
This 110-foot (34-meter) boat was tied up for 6 years in the Bridgetown careenage before it was sunk on June 8, 1996, in Carlisle Bay Marine Park. The wreck is easily accessible and has an air pocket in the bow.
The 35-foot (11-meter) Bajan Queen was Barbados’ first tugboat. Named the Pelican when the Bridgetown Harbour was being constructed in the 1960s, the boat was converted into a party boat a decade later and renamed. After years of operation and a multitude of parties, the Bajan Queen was donated to the Coastal Zone Management Unit. The Bajan Queen was cleaned up and sunk on May 19, 2002, in Carlisle Bay Marine Park. It now sits only a few feet below the surface and is accumulating some excellent fish and good coral diversity.
A Canadian freighter sunk by a torpedo from a German U-boat during World War II, the 15-foot (5-meter) wreck was relocated from a region of the bay with very high boat traffic to the marine park on Oct. 22, 2003.
A 12-foot (4-meter) naval landing barge, this wreck is now home to numerous reef fish including the puffer’s bigger cousin, the porcupine fish.