SHIPWRECK DIVING  Shipwreck Mapping
The complete Diver's guide to the skills, and techniques of creating an underwater map or shipwreck sketch.




   Capt. Dan Berg's Wreck Valley Collection   


By Capt. Dan Berg

In discussing mapping with sport divers, it becomes apparent that most do not have the means or ambition to do a scientific grid or even run a datum line. Sport divers do, however, want to contribute and are very capable of producing a complete or partial wreck map based on diving observations, experience and even memory.

Any knowledgeable shipwreck archaeologist should realize that recreational sport divers are a great and valuable source of information. With the limited number of archaeologists as well as limited funding, they could never hope to cover even a small percent of known shipwrecks. Therefore, the sport divers who are out there diving every week end exploring all types of sunken vessels develop a wealth of information, and, in using this information, wrecks can be better understood.

I try to draw a wreck after only diving it once. This drawing may be of a small area or a rough outline with only very distinct features crudely drawn in. Then after additional dives, I add and change details as I become more familiar with the wreck. I've found this very unscientific method to be quite successful, especially because recreational divers don't need to know where every brass pin is located. We only need a basic wreck drawing to help each other to understand the wreck's layout.

In addition to drawing from memory, I can now look at photographs of a wreck and make changes or add more detail to my drawing. Underwater videos have recently become affordable to many divers. These housings with wide angle lenses containing 8mm, super beta or VHS format camcorders can accurately record all images viewed during a dive which can later be seen at home. When using the video, try to take the footage from the same angle that you want to draw the wreck. Then swim along the side very slowly. Depending on the size of the wreck and the visibility, it may take a few passes to capture all the details on film. The tape can then be viewed at home and details can then be added to the wreck map. Both the camera and especially the video are excellent tools and will produce great results as well as increased accuracy.

The purpose of doing a wreck drawing can be varied. Maybe you want to display your work in a local dive shop, or next to a prized artifact, or maybe you realize that others can benefit from your efforts. Imagine being able to show a new diver a drawing of the wreck he is about to dive on; he could then descend and recognize the different areas. It would also make dive planning a lot easier, knowing the depth of  a portion of the bow, or the distance from the pilot house to the stern. Underwater photographers wouldn't have to rely on chance or luck to find those dramatic wide angle shots. They could plan out shots by looking at a sketch of the wreck just before jumping in.

3-D Shipwreck images
These underwater sketches were created by artist Aaron Hirsh and Capt. Dan Berg. The detail is amazing!

FREE Downloadable PDF Shipwreck Sketches of Shipwrecks off New York and New Jersey

The Shipwreck Diving E-Book  Instant Downloadable E-Book 

Shipwreck Diving, by Capt. Dan Berg is a complete how to book about the sport of wreck diving. This book is packed with information and heavily illustrated with over 80 sensational color photographs.



Shipwreck Diving ebook
The complete diver's guide to mastering the skills of shipwreck diving.

Buy Now   only $9.95
6 MB instant download, printable  PDF file

Shipwreck Diving is a complete how to ebook about the sport of wreck diving. This downloadable PDF e-book is packed with information and heavily illustrated with over 80 sensational color photographs. Daniel Berg, a noted wreck diver, instructor and author of ten shipwrecks related books, describes all the basics of wreck diving. Topics include everything from equipment modifications, communication, and wreck penetration to artifact preservation. Dan also tells how to navigate on a wreck and be able to return to the anchor line after the dive. Why some divers find more artifacts and explains how to catch lobsters. Shipwreck Diving also covers such diverse topics as shipwreck research, photography, spear fishing and how to use an underwater metal detector. This exciting book tells all the tricks of the trade that until now have only been learned through years of experience. Shipwreck divers of all caliber will find Shipwreck Diving informative, rewarding and entertaining

Check out Capt. Dan's other shipwreck and Diving eBooks



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All photographs, sketches, images and text

Copyright Capt. Dan Berg / Aqua Explorers Inc

2745 Cheshire Dr
Baldwin NY 11510


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