Outer Banks Diving Dive Center

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Located at 57540 Hwy 12 in Hatteras Village just past mile marker 71 on right.

The dive shop is open daily each morning for check-in at 6:30AM unless otherwise communicated. Divers are required to fill out waivers, pick up rental gear and for those who dive Nitrox, analyze. The boat leaves the dock at 7:30 AM

Divers must provide their own transportation to and from the marina. The “Flying Fish” is docked at Teach’s Lair Marina, located on the right 1 mile south of the shop. When turning into the marina, stay to the right. Continue towards the sound where you’ll find an ample parking and loading area.

Outer Banks Diving stocks a large selection of product lines including Mares, Mobby’s Dry Suits, Aqualung, Aeris, Sea Quest, Dacor, and OMS just to name a few. For products not in stock, special orders are available.

Full gear rentals are offered including cameras and dive computers (note: all divers are required to have some sort of timing device). All rental computers are user friendly and may be rented for a nominal fee.

Three compressors are housed at the shop and we fill only with “Hyper Pure Air”. Our qualified staff can blend custom Nitrox mixes.

Gear repairs are available to include regulator inspection, rebuilds, tank VIP, etc.

Table of Content

Shipwrecks

British Splendour

On the night of April 7th, 1942, Oberleutnant zur Sea Erich Topp sited the British Splendour through the periscope of U-552 and fired a salvo of torpedoes that sent this diesel powered tanker to the bottom in 100 feet of water with 10,000 tons of gasoline. The British Splendour sits on the sandy bottom upside down: Her bow is completely closed and intact, but the stern section offers several entrances to her hull, including her machinery spaces. There are lots of opportunities for light penetration, including through the gaping hole left by one of Topp’s electric powered torpedoes. Tropical fish, large sea animals, and coral abound on this wreck.

City of Atlanta

German U-boats made their first destructive visits to the Outer Banks in WWI, but in the winter of 1942, they returned to the waters off of the North Carolina coast with a destructive vengeance that can still shock. Operation Drumbeat, the first wave of these malign visitors, included U-123, which was commanded by Kapitanleutnant Reinhold Hardigan. After sinking four other ships along the undarkened coast, Hardigan caught the passenger-freighter City of Atlanta close to shore making her way south toward Savannah. A torpedo to her port side put her on the bottom. Lying in the sand north of Diamond Shoals in 90 feet of sea water, the City of Atlanta is a great digging wreck. Her mixed cargo, which included bottled drug products and liquor, lies strewn beneath the sand, as do portholes, cage-lamps, and other brass fittings.

Dixie Arrow and F.W. Abrams

These two nearly identical tankers were built by the same ship building company in Camden NJ in 1920 and 1921, and they met their end in 1942 only a few miles apart in the WW II, Battle of the Atlantic off the Coast of Hatteras. The Dixie Arrow was steaming from Texas City, TX, with crude oil when she was torpedoed by Kapitanleutnant Flachsenberg in U-71 just south of Diamond Shoals on March 26th, 1942. Despite being engulfed in flames, the lives of many of the Dixie Arrow’s crew were saved when ABS Oscar Chappell sacrificed his own life manning the helm of the crippled tanker to turn the ship and steer the flames away from the survivors gathered on the ship’s bow. All tolled, eleven died and twenty-two survived the sinking. Four months later the tanker F. W. Abrams was being guided through the fog off of Hatteras by the Coast Guard Cutter 484 when she lost sight of her escort, strayed into an allied minefield and was rocked by explosion. The captain, erroneously interpreting the mines as torpedoes, tried to take evasive maneuvers, turning instead directly into the thick of the minefield. The ship struck two more mines before she finally sunk. Today both ships lie in about 90 feet of water less than six miles apart. The Dixie Arrow is better preserved: The shape of her bow and stern are easily identified–with high relief in the bow section rising twenty-five feet from the ocean floor. Both wrecks are regularly visited by large rough-tail and southern sting-rays, sand tigers, and huge atlantic barracuda.

Hesperides

The Hesperides was shrouded in a thick fog when she lost her way and began to scrape her keel on the hard sandy bars of Diamond Shoals on October 9th,1897. She was loaded with pig iron bound from Cuba to Baltimore, and was not spotted by the life-saving crew of the Hatteras Station until early the next morning. By then she was hard aground and her engine room filled with water. She was a total loss. Today she lies in 40 feet of water, with the highest relief little more than 20 feet beneath the surface. When the waters of the shoals are calm, this wreck provides a picture-perfect dive from the stern to the bow.

Isle of Iona

This is a shallow water wreck just two miles from Hatteras Inlet. The Isle of Iona was a coal-fired steam freighter that ran aground in heavy fog on Ocracoke Island while on route from Cuba to Baltimore in December of 1914. Though there was no loss of life, the steamer and her cargo of iron ore was a total loss. The Isle of Iona is cradled in the sand at a depth of only 25 feet and is a largely contiguous wreck. This site, also known as the ‘Styron’s Hill Wreck’, is often visited by large schools of sand tigers, and the engine and ship’s machinery is still rich with bronze and brass fittings. At slack high-tide, this is a fun dive that can also be enjoyed by snorkelers.

Kassandra Louloudis

March of 1942 was not a time to be off of the coast of North Carolina, as the crew of the Kassandra Louloudis found out on the foggy night of the seventeenth. As she approached Cape Hatteras on her run from New York to Cristobal, Panama, a torpedo fired by Kapitanleutenant Mohr (U-124) put her on the bottom. Now the Kassandra Louloudis lies in 70 feet of sea water, her cargo and fittings scattered about her broken-up wreck on the sandy shoals.

Cathrine M.Monahan

This is the wreck of a working schooner that foundered in a storm off Hatteras in 1910. At the time of sinking, she was laden with a cargo of cement. Although some of her machinery lies just off her bow, this wooden schooner is now largely reduced the the trim outline of her hull that is kept by the still neatly stacked bags of cement. The spaces between these cement bags now provide shelter to a wide array of tropical fish (including tangs, highhats, wrasses, and angelfish, among others). The sands around the stern of this wreck still yield ceramic and other artifacts. Today, the Cathrine M. Monahan sits in 100 feet of water, and is a great dive for fish watching and underwater photography.

Keshena

The tugs Keshena and J. P. Martin were in the process of salvaging the torpedoed J.A.Mawinckel, which had drifted into an allied minefield after her attack by U-576. Keshena swung far out from the stern of the J.A. Mawinckel, and the mine that she struck sent Keshena to the bottom in 90 feet of sea water. Today the upper structure of the tug is gone, leaving only the steel hull and the the decks that collapsed into it. The bow sits upright in the sand, and the steering quadrant on the stern sits tilting to starboard.

Nevada

The wooden-hulled steamer Nevada was chartered by the U.S. quartermaster to carry supplies for the Federal troops shortly after her launching near the end of the Civil War. At the war’s end, she was placed on the trade between Savannah and New York. In June of 1868, she sailed from New York with passengers and a full cargo bound for Havana and Vera Cruz. On the night of June 4th, stranded in a thick fog she ran up on the sandy Diamond Shoals and could not be freed. Leaking badly, she was abandoned. On the night between June 5th and 6th, the Nevada worked her way over the shoals and sank in twelve fathoms of water. Today, she now sits upright in about 74 feet of water, with most of her wooden hull collapsed and disappeared. The large machinery of her engines and boilers dominates the site, and forward of these two stacked sets of train rails lie end to end above Nevada’s copper-sheathed hull. In the sand around this wreck can be found a variety of artifacts from the cargo of her last passage.

Northeastern

Not far from the wreck of the Hesperides in the shallow waters of Diamond Shoals, the tanker Northeastern ran aground in a gale and fog on the evening of December 27th, 1904. Her crew could not be got off until the morning of the 29th due to the pounding breakers that barreled across the shoals. By the time the boats of the Hatteras Life-Saving Station arrived, only the stern was still above the water. The crew was taken off safely, but the ship was badly damaged and could not be salvaged. The Northeastern sits in about 40 feet of water, sitting upright and intact.

Proteus

This victim of the WW I sub warfare not succumb to torpedoes or mines. On the night of August 19th, 1918, the Proteus attempted to round Cape Hatteras without running lights to avoid being spotted by marauding German U-boats. So did the the Standard Oil tanker Cushing. Unfortunately, the captain of the passenger-freighter Proteus saw the tanker too late, and the resulting collision tore a gaping hole amidships in the starboard side of Proteus. The wreck lies intact on the sandy bottom with her two engine’s boilers and her donkey boiler lying amidships. It is a large wreck, and divers often sees sharks, sea turtles, and mantas around the site.

U-701 -Type VII-C

German U Boat, assigned to lay mines in the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. Sunk in 1942, re-discovered in 1989, but it’s location was not public knowledge until 2003. Located just north of the Diamond Shoals, the conditions vary from day to day. Recent storms uncovered most of the wreck, which was nearly sanded over for several years. An exciting dive , well worth the long boat ride out.

Liberator

440 foot Steam freighter, sunk by the U-332 in 1942. Broken into three sections from the torpedo damage, depths range from 90 to 125 feet. Chunks of sulpher from the cargo hold can still be found and retrieved.

Australia

509 foot oil tanker, sunk in 1042 by the U-332. The Australia lies at a depth of ~100 ft, close to the Diamond Shoals. The ship is in two sections, with high relief boilers. Many artifacts remain just under the sand. Most impressive are the dinner plates with the Texaco logo.

Empire Gem

The “Gem” lies at adepth of 140 ft, out of the normal range of sport divers. The ship was only four months old when it met it’s fate – a torpedo from the U-66. Fifty-four crew members were lost as the tanker’s fuel holds exploded in flames. Nicknamed the “smell wreck” by locals, the ship still emits fuel oil, nearly 70 years later. Technical dive charters can get to this site, as well as many other deep sites off of Hatteras.

E.M. Clark

Another 1942 casualty of U boats, the Clark was a 449 foot tanker, sunk 23 miles off of Hatteras. The impressive wreck lies at a depth of 240 fsw, and often subject to unpredictable currents. Visibility often exceeds 100 ft in the location of the wreck. Artifact potential is great, as this wreck is not normally visited by many divers. The Clark is surely in the top five Hatteras wrecks for qualified technical divers.

Lancing

The Lancing lies in 160 fsw, and is one of the many oil tankers lost to torpedo attacks from German U-Boats. The Lancing sunk within minutes, all crew except one survived the sinking. The wreck is upside down, and the rudder, props, and boilers are very impressive to see.

Manuela

The Manuela was headed toward New York with a cargo of sugar, when it was torpedoed by the U-404. Afloat for nearly 24 hours, she finally slipped into 160 feet of water, 28 miles from Hatteras. The Manuela is a popular entry level technical dive. Some light penetration is possible, and many artifacts continue to be retrieved by digging.

Malchase

The 333 foot cargo ship was lost in 1942, 33 miles from Hatteras, in 206 fsw. The wreck is very broken up, but still visited regularly by qualified technical divers. Artifacts continue to be recovered by searching the many “holes” in the wreckage.

Tarpon

A Class P, US Navy submarine which saw 12 war patrols in the Pacific, the Tarpon had an undignified end of service. Sold for scrap in 1956, it was being towed to the yard, when it foundered in a storm off Hatteras. It now sits upright at 144 feet. The conning tower is aside, probably dislodged by a trawl net. Penetration can be made via control room and torpedo hatches. Several brass gauges have come up, and more remain in the control room. Marine life is impressive on this dive, especially the numerous lionfish that reside there.

Directions to Hatteras

Take I-64 East to Route 168 South – $2 toll

Proceed South following signs to Nags Head

Proceed through Nags Head, stay in left lane when you see signs for Manteo or Roanoke Island

Turn left at the signs marking Hatteras Island on Route 12

Proceed south over the Oregon Inlet Bridge, then the villages of Rodanthe, Avon, Buxton (you will see the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse), Frisco, and finally to Hatteras!

Our shop is located on Hwy. 12 South past Mile Marker 71 and Ballance Oil-Citgo (across from Captain Jack’s Restaurant – before the small bridge). Teach’s Lair Marina is at the very southern end before the ferry docks to Ocracoke.

Trip Planning

The Hatteras Dive Season

The dive season starts in April and runs through December.

Departure time & location

Divers meet at the dive shop at 6:30 A.M. Outer Banks Diving is located at 57540 Hwy 12 in Hatteras Village–prior to the small bridge and Captain Jack’s Restaurant.

For those of you who do not need anything from the shop

Meet time at the dock is 7:00 A.M., and the boat departs at 7:30 A.M. The time schedule is subject to change, especially during peak or holiday times, or by request of the group. Check when making reservation.

Dive site(s)

Outer Banks Diving regularly visits broad range of shipwrecks along the North Carolina Coast. Most sites are between 1 and 25 miles off shore in the North end of the Graveyard of the Atlantic and Diamond Shoals. Captain Pieno determines the dive site(s) on the morning of your dive as he considers the weather, the sea conditions, the level of experience, and the goals of the divers.

Gear Rental

Arrangements can be made to rent the gear you may need when you book your dive trip–including an underwater camera. See “rates” button above for details and pricing. Arrangements should be made at time of reservation and picked up at the dive shop the morning of your dive.

Technical Diving Trips

The Flying Fish is primarily a sport diving and fishing vessel. However, if your group of experienced divers wants to visit the deeper more challenging, wrecks, special accommodations can be made in advance. These sites include the Lansing, the Clark, the as yet, unidentified “Paddlewheeler,” and the Manuela, among others.

Dive Training & Checkout Dives

Depressed about doing your advanced diving or wreck specialty dives looking for a school bus in a cold, mid-Pennsylvania quarry? Does a checkout on a Spanish-American, Civil or World War wreck in the warm water rated the “Best Wreck Diving Location” by Rodale’s Scuba Diving Magazine readers sound more enticing? Referrals welcome!

Local Activities

Incorporate your family into your dive plan! Bring the family aboard for snorkeling!

Not up for the boat ride? There is plenty to keep the rest of the family busy on the island including:

  • Miles of beaches
  • Sailboarding, surfing, sailing, diving
  • Sea kayaking/ecotours
  • Parasailing
  • Surf fishing, clam digging
  • Deep water fishing charters
  • Horseback riding
  • Bicycle rentals
  • Gulf Stream Fishing
  • Or Just Relax!!!

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