USS TuckerThe 1st US Navy destroyer built with a lot of stainless steel, she now is a great dive site and marine eco system. She lies just off Malo in 16m to 21m of water on a sandy bottom and due to her location often has visibility of over 30m.The Tucker also fell afoul of friendly mines during WWII as there was no communication to the captain that the mine field had been laid. You can swim through and around this site with ease and it is a must do dive while in Santo.The Tucker is an American navy destroyer which met the same fate as the Coolidge only months before. What makes it different is that it was the first ship to be made predominantly from stainless steel, at around 115m in length she lies on the bottom now broken in two with the stern in about 16m and the bow in 22m.She makes for a great dive, exploring the nooks and crannies and she is covered in a large variety of corals and marine life. And due to her final resting place the visibility is generally over 25m.
Million Dollar PointAt the end of WWII, the American’s offered all their surplus war materials to the ondominium government for a minimal price but they tried to bluff them into giving it to them for free, the plan backfired and the Americans dumped thousands of tons of US military equipment into the sea. Named for its worth at the time, there are a multitude of bulldozers, cranes, fork lifts, and trucks piled upon one another in this unique dive site.Depth ranges from 3m down to 50m; it’s a dive not to be missed.
Aore PlaneA muck dive, where the wreckage of a small 2-seater spy plane rests (a McDonald Douglas dauntless dive bomber). Among the reef, you’ll also find ammunition, Coke bottles and other signs of America’s military presence here during WWII. An unidentified plane wreck believed to be a dauntless dive bomber rests in 26m of water and is now broken into 3 main pieces. There are also many other bits from WWII scattered on the nearby reef, it is very close to shore and even though vis can be down from time to time, it makes for a different dive here in Santo &t here is a large resident moray that can usually been seen on most dives. Depth 22m to 28m
Popular Wreck Diving Sites
SS President CoolidgeDive the largest most accessible ship wreck in the world. At just under 200m long, the President - she offers something for all levels of diver experience. She struck friendly mines during world war two with over 5400 troops on board.The Coolidge was full of war supplies, like jeeps, ammunition, guns, and canons along with personal belongings of the troops and crew, all there for the divers now to enjoy. She started life as a luxury liner before being brought in as a troop ship to aid the war effort, so you will get to see how the upper classed travel in the great cruise ship era seeing the beautiful porcelain statue of “The Lady”, chandeliers and a mosaic tile fountain& swimming pool. The SS President Coolidge is the pinnacle of wreck dives in Santo and with her sheer size alone, makes it for an amazing experience at 199m long, 24.7m wide and a gross tonnage of 21,936t!The wreck starts in 18m of water at the bow and finishes around 65m at the stern. She is filled with ww2 supplies including jeeps, trucks, ammunition and soldiers personal belongings.There is something for everyone, and you can do many different dives with over 20 different dive routes e.g. cargo holds, the lady, the galley, engine room, medical supplies, swimming pool just to name a few. You do not have to dive deep to experience this magnificent wreck,and it’s only 15 minutes travel time.You could do over 12 dives and not see all that the Coolidge has to offer, but even doing just a couple of dives gives you the insight of her majestic life and sheer size.
Tui TawateFamous New Zealand tug that served in the rescue efforts of the 1968 sinking of the Wahine Ferry in Wellington before being used for oil salvage on the SS President Coolidge. She now rests fully upright in a beautiful sand flat with fantastic fish life and gorgeous coral growth including sea pens! The depth ranges from 46m at her keel to 30m a top of her superstructure. She was intentionally scuttled in the Segond Channel as a dive wreck in the early eighties. She sits upright on a white sandy bottom with a maximum depth of 46m and minimum depth of 30m. The stark contrast of the tug against the sand makes for an impressive sight and she usually has good marine life around her and there is penetration into the engine and boiler room.
F4F Wildcat Plane wreck - Palekula BayThis Plane is fully intact and rests upside down with its landing gear down, which indicates it crashed on take-off or on approach to land at the nearby fighter strip.It rests on a sandy bottom up against the reef, little is known about it but it makes for an interesting dive. US Marine Observation Squadron 251 was set up in 1942 at Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides with sixteen F4F-3 Wildcat fighters modified for long-range photographic missions. This wreck is rarely visited and we are the only operator to dive it.It rests upside down fully intact against reef in about 18m of water. Depth 12m to 20m