NC Heritage Dive Sites

The North Carolina coast is known as the "Graveyard of the Atlantic" because of the over 2,000 vessels that wrecked on the treacherous shoals of the Outer Banks. These wrecks range from the 16th century to the present, and each provides a unique perspective of their own time and place. Cultural resources are non-renewable, and underwater cultural heritage sites represent a complex challenge to agencies and institutions responsible for their protection and preservation. The management, protection, and interpretation of North Carolina's extensive submerged cultural resources is the primary mission of the OSA's Underwater Archaeology Branch. The Heritage Dive Sites program creates publicly accessible shipwreck preserves that promote educational public outreach, directly involve the dive community, and build a sense of public ownership and responsibility for the tangible remains of our maritime heritage!

There are currently two Heritage Dive Sites in North Carolina for divers to explore. USS Huron in Nags Head and Condor in Kure Beach are both relatively intact wrecks, the first built as a naval vessel in the decade after the Civil War, and the latter representing one of many Civil War blockade runners that pepper coastal NC waterways. The links below provide ship histories and diving guides for each site. Further questions? Contact the Underwater Archaeology Branch!

All divers should follow safe scuba-diving practices. It is strongly recommended that visitors check on conditions with a lifeguard before swimming out to a wreck. No one should ever swim or dive alone! Remember: “Take only pictures and leave only bubbles.”