The Story of the River Taw
The River Taw was once a 144 foot long island freighter which crashed near the coast of the island of St. Kitts approximately 20 years ago in 1981. It began to sink while sailing through Basseterre Harbour and was towed to where it now rests. It was split into two and sunk into 50 feet of water, which makes it an ideal diving spot for novices because it is not too deep.
Because of the way that the boat broke and the stern rotated 180 degrees, it is easy to swim through and divers can see directly into the hull. Since Hurricane Omar passed through and rearranged the wreck a bit more, the two halves of the ship are now about 50 feet apart.
What You Will See Under the Sea
As you swim through this amazing wreck, you will observe schools of colourful reef fish and huge growths of coral encrusting the ship. You will also encounter sea turtles, stingrays, lobsters, octopi and much more. If you venture near the bottom of the wreck, you will also find a mini-bus and a bulldozer resting on the bottom of the sea. Make sure to bring an underwater camera, as there are countless stunning photo opportunities.
Tips for Wreck Diving
If you are planning on diving at the Wreck of the River Taw while you are in St. Kitts, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- First of all, always be prepared and do as much research as you can in advance so that you know what to expect when you get underwater.
- You should never attempt to dive a shipwreck without the proper training. Wreck diving is very different than other types of scuba diving and there are plenty of unique dangers you need to be conscious of.
- Make sure that you have all of the necessary wreck diving equipment, such as a reel to link yourself to the point of entry and lights to see your way through the dark places. Also don’t forget cutting tools and long hoses.
- When you are entering a shipwreck, all of your equipment should be secured close to your body to reduce the risk of getting caught or snagged on the shop. The clips that you use should be weak enough so that you can break free if you get snagged.
- Always lay down a guideline, which can help you find your way out if your lights fail or your visibility is reduced. You don’t want to get lost and trapped inside the ship.
- Whenever you are diving within a wreck, make sure that you always have a backup supply of lights in case yours runs out of batteries in the middle of the shipwreck.
- Look but don’t touch. A metal ship wreck can have sharp and rusty edges which can hurt you.
- Don’t take souvenirs from the wreck. Not only does it take away something for the future divers to look at, it is also illegal in some countries.
Scuba divers with St. Kitts Citizenship or those visiting this Caribbean Island have the opportunity to explore a truly spectacular shipwreck diving site.
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