U.S. Virgin Islands
St. Thomas is by far the best known of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
shopping, clear water, intimate beaches, night life and of course
diving can all be found here. The reefs off St. Thomas support all
of tropical fish. In fact it's not uncommon for a diver to see
damselfish, peacock flounder, turtles, and sting rays all on the
For more information about the US Virgin Islands visit the US Virgin
Islands Board of Tourism’s official website –
This wreck is that of a Lockheed Constellation aircraft that was
rumored to be
designed by Howard Hughes just after WW II. The cargo plane had four
engines and a triple tail. The plane was originally commissioned for
U.S. Air Force, but after many years of service she was purchased to
fruits and vegetables between islands. According to Debbie & Joe
who own and operate a local dive operation, the plane crashed in
en route between St. Croix and St. Thomas. The accident happened at
while a misty rain was present. No radio distress calls were heard;
as though she just plunged into the sea. The Constellation stayed
and afloat overnight, allowing survivors to be rescued.
pilot, co-pilot and one of her crew members were killed in the
following morning the aircraft was in tow tail first, but she sank
Bay before she could make it to shore.
The Airplane wreckage now sits in 45 feet of water about 100 yards
shore on the southwest end of the island. She has been scattered a
from the heavy winds of a few hurricanes, but divers will still be
find two thirds of her fuselage and her wing intact. Her landing
gear, a still
inflated tire, and even windshield wipers are all recognizable. To
an idea of the size of this huge aircraft, just imagine a 727
sitting in crystal
clear water in only 45 feet of water. Bringing a camera goes without
for this site.
This 190 foot long, steel hulled freighter has an interesting
World War II, she was used to transport goods. After the war, she
used to carry various cargos between islands. She was brought to St-
in 1970 and was abandoned by her captain and crew. By this time, the
had definitely seen better days and was eventually towed into a cove
she was moored. Over time, the unattended vessel began to take on
and was soon on the bottom. Unfortunately, her location for divers
as she was sitting in silt, and poor visibility was inevitable.
At one point in1975, the Army corp. of Engineers was going to blow
wreck up as they considered the ship a hazard to navigation. Around
same time, St. Thomas noticed the amount of interest their
British Virgin Islands were getting since the movie "The Deep" was
filmed on the wreck of the Rhone. St. Thomas decided that they too
have a clear water wreck, and started the wheels moving to raise the
Cartanser and move her to a spot more accessible for divers. Local
led by the St. Thomas Diving Club, banded together in the campaign
"Save The Cartanser". They raised funds by selling "T" shirts
slogan. This effort was a huge success that will be enjoyed by
many years to come.
On July l6th, 1979, with the help of a giant super crane paid for by
"Save The Cartanser" fund, the Cartanser Senior was raised, moved
miles to a cove on the west side of Buck Island, and re-sunk. She is
resting in 50 feet of water, leaning on her port side. Her hull has
open and bent a little from the various storms that have passed
but this wreck is a photographer's dream. Everything from her engine
to her bow has been photographed hundreds of times. Her remains
not only yellow tails, tang, groupers and angelfish, but dive boats
all over the island that bring divers to explore the wreckage.
The Ferry Boat is the newest wreck off the island. She was named
Capitan and used as a ferry between St. John and St. Thomas before
sinking during hurricane Gilbert. The Ferry Boat was raised onto a
but due to the extent of her damage, it was not worth repairing the
The Mein Capitan was then taken out and dumped off the southwest end
of Lovango Key. The vessel now sits upside down in 50 feet of water
has not yet fully developed as a fish haven. The Ferry Boot will not
in this location for long since she was dumped without a permit.
already underway to raise and relocate the wreck to a spot near the
Rodger's wreck. Wherever she ends up, the Ferry Boat should
much more popular as tourists learn about her existence, and the
marine life make her their new home.
The General Rodger's was a 120 foot long, steel hulled, auxiliary
Guard vessel. The ship has large reels on her stern deck which
that she may have once been utilized by the Coast Guard as a buoy
According to Steve Siminson, a local diver, she was sunk by the
Guard in 1972 to form an artificial reef. However, the General
didn't go down too easily. In fact, she took many hours before
beneath the ocean's surface, and during that time, she unexpectedly
around over slightly deeper water. When the General Rodgers finally
sink, tragedy struck when one of the crew, who was helping to
vessel, drowned with her.
The General Rodger's now lies in 65 feet of water. She is not dove
often as the Cartanser but is sitting upright and intact in a
channel off the
northwest side of St. Thomas. This wreck is fascinating to explore.
can swim through passageways, look out porthole openings, and can
see a huge spare propeller in her forward cargo hold. A current is
present at this site.
The General Rodger's is also a great wreck to photograph.
unobstructed, and divers will find her propeller encrusted and very
This site does not seem to attract quite as much fish life as the
but large school of small mouth grunts, barracudas, tang, and jacks