Wreck penetration

Wreck penetration

Once you embark on the Wreck Specialty Diver course you can choose to include wreck penetration if you wish.

Wreck penetration
Wreck penetration

There is more to this aspect than just having a big torch! Passages deigned for walking along become very tight spaces if the ship is lying on its side and a once narrow walk way will have you crawling along the bottom of it while your tank scrapes the top, dislodging rust from above and silt from below – reducing visibility to zero despite your huge light.

Wreck penetration
Take care not to swim into overhead environments without a reel, line and a light

Once in a wreck you need to move very slowly as the diver behind you will not have a good time swimming in the silt cloud you create. Your bubbles are also enough to create a cascade of flaked rust in some instances. It is extremely important to use a reel and line, tied off at the entrance. You belay the line at various points to prevent the line following a route you can’t navigate on your return. If you don’t do this, the line will find the shortest route through the wreck behind you – not necessarily person-sized! Cyalumes attached to the line are useful just as a back up torch or three is also an essential requirement.

Wreck penetration
Orient yourself using daylight when penetrating a wreck

Always ensure you have studied a drawing of the layout of the sections you plan to penetrate. The MV Aster wreck just outside Hout Bay Harbour was purposely scuttled by divers, for divers. As a result detailed drawings of the interior of the wreck exist, and it is an ideal site for training in wreck penetration.

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Tony

Scuba diver, teacher, gadget man, racing driver, boat skipper, photographer, and collector of stray animals

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