When you talk about a wreck sitting in 50 m of water you think it must be a tec dive for experienced divers only. Although the wreck of the President Coolidge is siting in 70m with the top in 20m it is a great dive for all levels of divers and what makes it even more special is that it is a shore dive. I have done this dive about 30 time and I am sure I have only see a 10th of the wreck and that is why I am heading back there in April 2015 to see some more.
The Coolidge was a US luxury Ocean line and converted to a war ship in 1947 for WWII. She was unlucky enough to hit one of her own mines. The captain knew he was going to lose the ship so ran her aground and ordered troops to abandon ship. Not believing the ship would sink, troops were told to leave all of their belongings behind under the impression that they would conduct salvage operations over the next few days.
Over the next 90 minutes, 5,340 men from the ship got safely ashore. There was no panic as they disembarked; many even walked ashore. However, the captain’s attempts to beach the ship were not successful and the ship slipped back into the water creating a great big wreck for us to dive..
As everything was left on board there is a heap to see and lots of dives that can be done. Generally the first dive that is done is the promenad deck. This gives you a chance to get you bearings on the wreck (it is on its side) and also a chance for the dive guides to check you out in the water. All dives are done in small groups of about 4. Once comfortable the experience guides will start to take you though the wreck if you are experienced enough.
It is one of my most memorial dives and a definitely must do one from Sydney. It is easy to get to, great value for money and good to do all year around.