Diving - Wreck of the Inganess Bay

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DEPTH: 70 feet (21 M)


The 136-foot island freighter Inganess Bay was sunk by the BVI Dive Operators Association in August of 1996 creating an interesting new wreck dive. The ship rests just south of Cooper Island flat on its bottom in 95 feet of water, with 45 feet of water over each masthead.

The steel Inganess Bay was built in Holland in 1950 for a Scottish company. In 1988, Captain Hugh Bailey of Antigua sold the ship to Captain Cosmos Sealey. From 1988 to 1996, the colorful red ship plied Caribbean trade routes from Puerto Rico to Trinidad.

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To prepare the Inganess Bay for its one-way trip to the bottom, workers emptied fuel tanks and then removed the main engine, all loose wood, and most doors. Today the wreck teems with a huge variety of fish and invertebrate life.

The minute you break the surface you can see the eerie structure. Lizardfish wait silently for new divers. Schools of snappers and grunts hover motionless about the broken midsection. Many of the walls of the wreck are encrusted with corals and colorful sponges while sections of windows still hold their glass panes.

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Divers can easily penetrate the various rooms and hallways within this structure. An easy dive for all, this wreck will prove to be a popular attraction in coming years as the ocean claims it.The site provides protection from swells and wind-driven seas, but even on the calmest days, you can hear the eerie creaking of the bow as the surge moves it back and forth every so slightly.

Text extracted from The Guide to Diving and Snorkeling in the British Virgin Islands by Jeff Williams, Ria O'Hagan.