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If you think Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is a beautiful seaside city, you should see the parts that are hidden beneath the Atlantic Ocean's surface. Natural and artificial reefs, old shipwrecks, and an abundance of aquatic life are just waiting to be discovered on a Myrtle Beach scuba-diving trip.
Experienced divers don't have to look far to find some interesting dive sites along the Grand Strand, and first-timers find it easier than expected to get trained and certified. Fully certified instructors provide hands-on training in the controlled environment of a swimming pool to ensure that students are comfortable and confident before taking the big plunge in the ocean. Classes conclude with group dives with trusty guides close by, and some options are available for most or all of the family — including scuba diving for ages 16 and up, open-water diving for ages 10-15, and pool diving for ages 8 and up.
Guests at Long Bay Resort are within especially easy reach of three reputable scuba outfitters — Coastal Scuba in North Myrtle Beach, Express Watersports in Murrells Inlet and Nu Horizons in Myrtle Beach are among the reputable outfitters offering trips to some of the top spots off our coast. They provide instruction, certification, underwater dives and tours, and they rent equipment for patrons who prefer not to travel with all their gear. Here are some of the most popular and awe-inspiring dive sites located along the Myrtle Beach coastline:
* Barracuda Alley: This artificial reef was created in 2001 by sinking 20 armored personnel carriers in waters about 10 miles off the coast. Resting at a depth of 63 feet, this 550-foot site features a training platform, concrete and steel structures divers can swim through, and a spectacular collection of sea life, such as barracudas, spadefish and other rare species. This half-day trip is good for divers of all skill levels.
* Charleston Tug: This popular site off the coast of North Myrtle Beach features surprisingly clear water and great visibility around the 130-foot tug boat. Resting at a depth of 62 feet, the top of the large tug rises to 30 feet, perfect for beginners looking to work their way to the bottom. The Charleston Tug also attracts a wide assortment of aquatic life, including barracuda, sea bass and mackerel.
* BP-25: For more than 30 years, this 160-foot British Petroleum tanker has served as a hub of activity for both aquatic animals and scuba divers. Forty New York City subway cars were added to the artificial reef to create an "ocean oasis" 90 feet below the surface. This full-day trip is perfect for experienced divers looking for a unique place to explore.
* The Governor: Also known as The Suwanee, this 200-foot, Civil War-era paddle wheeler has yielded lots of artifacts for divers who reach the site 80 feet below the surface. Ideal for history buffs, this wreck has produced everything from rifles, cannonballs, bullets ands brass belt buckles. It's also a great place to see some rare sea life.
* The Sherman: This 200-foot, Civil War-era blockade runner is one of the most popular wrecks among local divers. Located near the Little River Inlet, only about 6 miles off the coast, the Sherman is ideal for all skills levels. Resting beneath 52 feet of water, the site allows divers to search for artifacts that routinely turn up during trips.
After exploring the underwater world around Myrtle Beach, enjoy life on dry land by staying with us at Long Bay Resort. Lose the gear and go for a dip in our heated indoor and outdoor pools, make a splash with our water attractions, or stay high and dry in the comfort of your oceanfront room. It’s a great way to spend a beach vacation above and below water.