Pensacola Dive Sites

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Introduction

Perched on the border between the Florida and Alabama Gulf coasts, Pensacola, Florida is well known for its beautiful white sand beaches, fantastic fishing, a rich history which dates back to the 1500s, and as the home for Navy Flight Training and the Blue Angels Flight Demonstration Squadron. Pensacola has however been long overlooked as the incredible dive destination that it really is. Now home to the world's ultimate dive site, the aircraft carrier USS Oriskany! The Pensacola area offers more than a thousand individual dive sites, catering to all experience levels and interests. Whether you're new to the sport or an experienced Eco-Adventurer, you can see it all here.

Shore Dives

 Pensacola's miles of pristine white sand beaches offer some spectacular dive opportunities for the snorkeler as well as diver. 19th century shipwrecks, natural structure, and artificial reefs are easily accessible from area beaches, permitting virtually every diver to fully enjoy the beautiful diving that the Pensacola area offers. Typical depths range from 12 - 25 feet.

Shipwrecks

Shipwrecks: Pensacola has been an active port since the 1600's, and has accumulated an impressive collection of historic shipwrecks, with more being discovered every year. Divable wrecks, including some wooden hulled vessels dating back to pre-revolutionary war era, can be found in as little as 15 feet of water, or you can visit wrecks as deep as 180'. From victims of tropical storms and war, to the numerous intentionally sunk vessels, the Pensacola area has it all! A few of the more popular wrecks include the Russian Freighter, Navy YDTs, Pete Tide II, Sylvia, Philip, Born Again, Catherine, USS Massachusetts, Tug Heron, Antares, and the Avocet. Find more information and coordinates to these and other sites on our GPS Numbers page.

Airplanes

 Dive with us in "The World’s Premier Underwater Aviation Museum." As the "Cradle of Naval Aviation," Pensacola offers what is possibly the greatest collection of sunken aircraft to be found anywhere. Virtually every carrier aircraft flown by the Navy is represented, with some dating back to before WWII. Some of the more notable planes to be seen include: F-6 Hellcat, F-8 -F Bearcat, F4U Corsair, TBF/M Avenger, A7 Corsair II, T-34 Mentor, and AD Skyraider. Depths range from 60 to 130 feet.

Oil Rigs

 The rigs available within the immediate Pensacola area have all been intentionally sunk as artificial reefs and can provide some of the most interesting dives available. The abundance and diversity of the marine life on these structures is incredible, and the beauty of these sites must be seen to be believed. Trips to Operational "working" Rigs are available and must be booked well in advance. Depths range from 75 to 170 feet.

Artificial Reefs

Florida's emerald coast is well known for the incredible fishing that can be found here. Much of the area’s success is due to the outstanding efforts by clubs, local governments, organizations, and individuals to continuously create artificial reef structure to support marine life. Examples of artificial reefs vary greatly, and include ships, vehicles, aircraft, concrete rubble and structures, army tanks, radio towers, and virtually anything else that can be made environmentally safe. Depths range from 30 to 130 feet.

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Natural Reefs

The natural reefs in the Panhandle region differ somewhat from the reefs normally encountered further south. In the Northern Gulf coast, reefs take the form of "live or natural bottom" areas consisting primarily of limestone outcroppings and ledges which are beautifully covered in corals, sponges and other reef dwelling species. The marine life on these areas can be amazing, and these are the favorite destinations of those who seek lobsters. These natural reef areas make for a spectacular Night dive! Depths range from 70 to 130 feet.



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