scuttled On 19 December 1989

MV Henry Bonneaud

The waters surrounding Espiritu Santo, one of the main islands in Vanuatu, hold a treasure trove of sunken ships and aircraft, making it a diving hotspot in the South Pacific. Among these relics, the Henry Bonneaud stands out as a unique piece of maritime history. Unlike many of the unintentional shipwrecks in the area, the Henry Bonneaud was an island trader that was deliberately sunk to create a dive site.

The intentional sinking of vessels like the Henry Bonneaud offers several benefits. Over time, these sunken ships have evolved into artificial reefs, providing a sanctuary for a diverse range of marine life, from corals and sponges that attach to the ship’s structure to schools of fish that seek shelter within their confines. This transformation not only aids in marine conservation efforts but also offers divers a chance to explore a controlled environment, rich in both natural beauty and man-made structures.

Divers exploring the Henry Bonneaud can expect to weave through its chambers and corridors, observing the gradual takeover by marine life. Encrustations of corals, playful clownfish darting in and out of anemones, and the occasional curious turtle or reef shark make each dive a unique experience. Given Espiritu Santo’s rich diving legacy, notably the famous SS President Coolidge, the Henry Bonneaud serves as a testament to the island’s commitment to preserving and enhancing its underwater heritage for divers to cherish and explore.