U.S.S. ORISKANY WRECK

Ave. Depth: 135ft
Max. Depth: 200 ft

USS Oriskany (CV/CVA-34) – nicknamed Mighty O, and occasionally referred to as the O-boat – was one of the few Essex-class aircraft carriers completed only after World War II for the United States Navy. She operated primarily in the Pacific into the 1970s, earning two battle stars for service in the Korean War, and five for service in the Vietnam War.

Decommissioned in 1976, she was sold for scrap in 1995.. In 2004 it was decided to sink her as an artificial reef off the coast of Florida in the Gulf of Mexico. After much environmental review and remediation to remove toxic substances, she was carefully sunk in May 2006, settling in an upright position at a depth accessible to recreational divers. As of 2008, Oriskany is “the largest vessel ever sunk to make a reef”.

It’s one of three divable aircraft carriers in the world — along with the USS Saratoga at ­Bikini Atoll and the HMS Hermes in Sri ­Lanka — but unmatched in size and history. Oriskany is a bucket-list dive for wreck lovers, but due to its immense length (the main deck is over three football fields long), towering profile (the tower alone is 62 feet tall) and serious depth (even the flight deck is beyond recreational limits), it’s not an adventure to be taken lightly.

The USS Oriskany sits upright on the bottom in 220ft of water. Most of the Island including the admiral’s and navigation bridges, chart plotting room, captains and admirals sea cabins, and primary flight bridge is above 130ft, and there’s plenty to see above 100′ making her a great dive for all skill levels. USS Oriskany Dive Charters are running daily, and we can accommodate groups or individuals.

Technical divers, however, have found Oriskany to be more formidable than expected, and veteran cave divers have come back expressing awe at the challenges she presents. Significant penetrations are difficult and risky.

To find out which dive charter boats are going to visit this site, and others like it, visit Scuba Schedules and navigate to the the North West Florida scuba diving region.

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