Here Are Scuba Diving’s Underwater Shipwreck Photographs of the Year

by Owen James Burke

Each year, Scuba Diving Magazine takes submissions for the best shipwreck (or plane wreck) photograph, and leaves it up to their readers to vote. Here are a few of our choices.

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The Shangri La schooner shipwreck lies off Mactan, Central Visayas, Philippines

Does anyone know the story of the Shangri La’s fateful voyage?

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 5.50.51 PMThe Kittiwake was a submarine rescue vessel launched in 1945 and decommissioned in 1994. In 2009, she was donated to Grand Cayman for repurposing as an artificial reef. Resting in shallow waters, she receives a lot of natural light and makes for favorable photographic conditions. This photographer lit up one of her cargo bays for a creative split-level image of both natural and artificial light.


The Jake (Japanese name: Aichi E13A) reconnaissance seaplane went down off Papua New Guinea around the end of WWII, not as a result of an attack but engine failure. Notice that her propellor is still straight — had it gone down while running, it would have bent when it hit the water.

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We rarely, if ever, bear away from the brine, but this photograph makes for one exception. The 135-foot wooden steamer St. Alban collided with ice in 1881. Miraculously, all aboard were rescued, and the vessel herself is now 165 feet below the surface of Lake Michigan, collapsed in the middle.

Happy Veteran’s Day to all those who’ve served, past and present.

Head over to Scuba Diving Magazine to see other nominations and vote — OB

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