Nothing is more thrilling than scuba diving to sunken wrecks and planes, especially those who have served in a war and still stand as timepieces. The handful of locations below are much like underwater museums still holding on to precious cargo.

These ships and planes have served in times of war, aiding in bringing troops and supplies to where they were needed the most. Whether they were sunk at the time of war or recreationally sunk later in time, explore these amazing scuba diving sites for an unforgettable adventure.

DC-3 Plane Wreck, Aruba

This small, 40-seat plane is said to have been confiscated during a drug bust in the 1980s. The plane was eventually sunk to create an artificial reef. After Hurricane Lenny, however, the plane moved 80 feet and split into two pieces; though the plane can still be seen sitting in the Sonesta Reef.

Here, you can see angelfish, barracuda, groupers and green moray eels along with other tropical fish. In 2004, a second plane was added to the artificial reef and since then, the YS-11 has become a companion to the DC-3.

Aruba scuba diving

Photo: Steve Velazquez via Flickr

The Jake Seaplane, Palua

Also known as Aichi E13A-1, this three-person Japanese plane that took part in WWII and was found soon after in 1944. It is said that the plane was one of 60 Japanese aircrafts that had sunk during the war. The seaplane is one of the lucky few that remained intact upon impact.

Many say the wreck is incredible during the day and at night time. The one advantage of diving the wreck during the day is being able to see fallen and lost artifacts in and around the seaplane. Mandarinfish, parrot fish, reef sharks, and scorpion fish can be seen at this wreck and other sunken marvels in the Koror area.


The corroded front of the plane. Photo: Tetsuji Sakakibara, via Flickr

Dakota DC-3, Turkey

Sunk for the sole purpose of scuba diving pleasure, this WWII transport plane has been turned into an “underwater playground”. Since 2009, the site not only has been gaining recognition but many travel and adventure lovers as well.

During the dive, you will be able to swim through the cockpit and the small interior of the plane where you can see all the parts of a functioning plane still intact. Keep an eye out for barracuda looming in the shadows as well as other small school fish swimming around.

Kas, Turkey

Photo: Wusel007 via Flickr

Corsair Wreck, Oahu, Hawaii

In 1948, a routine mission went sideways when the plane started to sputter and as complications increased, the plane landed into the water smoothly. The plane now sits 115 feet under the ocean fully intact and inhabited by eels, yellow snapper, and other reef fish along with common sightings of stingrays and pufferfish. Whether you dive the wreck by day or by night, it should be something you experience once in your life!

Ouahu, Hawaii

Photo: matt kieffer via Flickr

S.S. Kittiwake, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

After 50 years of being in service, the island of Grand Cayman took the Kittiwake and gave it a new purpose. In 2011, the ship was sunk below the north tip of the island (near the 7 Mile Beach) where divers from around the world have swum through and explored the multi-leveled ship. Coral shrimp and spotted eels have made this wreck their home while turtles and rays float by in search of food. As a world-famous wreck, make sure to add this to your Carribean bucket list.

Grand Cayman

Photo: Richard Whitcombe, via Flickr

S.S Thistlegrom, Red Sea

It is said that the boat sank after a German attack in 1941 and a decade later, the ship was rediscovered. After years of being at the bottom of the ocean, natural corrosion has set in, taking apart the ship slowly.

Objects within the ship such as motorcycles and artillery can be seen while swimming the interior. Frequent divers say it is best to take the dive in parts simply because the wreck is so big. Barracuda, batfish, and soldierfish are some species that are common sites among the wreck. 

Red Sea

Photo: prilfish via Flickr

Ferryboat Zenobia, Cyprus, Greece

Almost reaching the shores of Lanarca, the Zenobia ferry sank due to errors within the ship. While diving through the wreck you can see toilets, drink machines, and trucks still sitting in their original places (some with remaining dulled color).

Look out for giant grouper along with the wrasses, angelfish, parrotfish with sights of moray eels. Take your time with this wreck in order to see the magnificent artifacts of the Zenobia.

 cyprus, greece

Trucks attached to sunken ferry. Photo: jetlife2 via Flickr

Happy scuba diving!

Also read:

Best Diving in Japan: Into the Deep with Tips From a Local Diver

Pristine Scuba Dive Spots With An Eye for Marine Conservation