If you are planning your trip to Myrtle Beach as a staycation, you may be wondering about the scuba diving in Myrtle Beach. You maybe asking what the Myrtle Beach scuba diving is like, what you might see on the dives and who to book your scuba diving trips with.
You can scuba dive Myrtle Beach with two companies including Coastal Scuba in North Myrtle Beach and Express Watersports in South Myrtle Beach. Myrtle Beach scuba diving includes diving on wrecks and artificial reefs with depths from 9-43 metres (30-140 ft) for beginners to advanced divers.
Diving in North Myrtle Beach
The best way to scuba dive North Myrtle Beach is to book a dive trip with Coastal Scuba. From North Myrtle Beach you can dive on a number of dive sites, which include a number of World War II wrecks and artificial reefs.
Is there good diving in Myrtle Beach?
There are some excellent dives in Myrtle Beach, which includes a number of wrecks and artificial reefs. The better wrecks and reefs are further offshore to get better visibility and sea life, plus the chance to see sharks when you’re diving.
Included below is a table of the scuba diving Myrtle Beach dive sites.
Scuba Diving Myrtle Beach Dive Sites Table
|Myrtle Beach Dive Site||Certification and Experience Level||Depth||Description||Marine Life||Sailing Distance||Scuba Diving Myrtle Beach Prices||Visibility||Myrtle Beach Diving Company||Dive Site Reviews|
|Charleston Tug Wreck||Beginners and above||9-19m (30-62ft)||40m (130f) World War II tug boat.||Barracudas, Spanish Mackerel, Spade Fish, Black Sea Bass, and Gobies.||10km (6m)||$80||8-9m (26-30ft)||Coastal Scuba||"The wreck has lots of growth and can be easily penetrated in the upper deck. There are multiple armoured personnel carriers and cement pipes around the wreck to add more to look at. We saw a lot of life including barracuda, bait ball, flounder, toadfish, high hats and stingrays". Trip Adviser Review|
|Tugboat/Airplane||Beginners and above||9-13m (30-45ft)||27m (90 ft) tugboat with a swim through, plus a navy A-6 attack plane nearby.||Barracuda Spade fish and the occasional dolphin.||18km (11m)||$110||5-12m (15-40ft)||Express Watersports||None|
|The Sherman (Princess Royal) Wreck||Beginners and above||16-17m (52-55ft)||US Navy the Princess Royal was made for running blockades and sank on 10 January 1874 (Not much more than a skeleton left).||Large shoals of fish.||10km (6m)||$80||8-11m (26-35ft)||Coastal Scuba||"Captain Robert, Dive Master Michael and the rest of the crew were awesome! My husband, son and I are experienced divers, but Dive Master Michael's attention to detail really made the trip for us! We even found a Civil War era bullet. Highly recommended!!!". Trip Adviser Review|
|The Bill Perry||Beginners and above||15-18m (50-60ft)||Several military landing craft, tugboat and a shrimp trawler sunk as part of the South Carolina Artificial Reef Program in 1990's.||Grouper, snapper, queen angels, sea turtles and loads of other tropical fish life.||18km (11m)||$110||9-18m (30-60ft)||Coastal Scuba|
|"The seas were choppy with 4ft waves. Captain Andrew is the best...We didn't have the best visibility , but thanks to the captain and his wonderful crew, we had a successful dive!!! We will definitely be back!!!". Trip Adviser Review.|
|Pinnacle Reef||Beginners and above||14-19m (45-63ft)||A 30m (100 ft) barge sunk in 2006 to create an artificial reef. The barge landed upside down and created a giant cave type structure. High steel structures create swim through.||Barracuda and Spadefish.||16km (10m)||$80||8-9m (26-30ft)||Coastal Scuba||None|
|City of Richmond||Beginners and above||11-20m (35-65ft)||A five deck passenger ship that sank during a storm while being towed to the Virgin Islands to be converted into a casino. The ship’s hull and boilers are intact.||Large variety of fish, which includes grouper, Snapper and trigger fish. Plus you may see the occasional tiger shark or sand shark.||26km (16m)||$125||9-15m (30-50ft)||Express Watersports||"I went scuba diving here on 9/15/2013. Average viz: 51-60ft/16-18m. Water temp: 76-80°F/24-27°C. great dive’s site, love it!!!" Dive Buddy Review|
|Copper Pot Wreck||Beginners and above||14-20m (45-65ft)||49m (160 ft) coal Fired Side Wheel Steamer sank during a collision at sea with another vessel. Has large Copper boilers.||Lots of fish and marine life.||18km (11m)||$110||9-15m (30-50ft)||Express Watersports||None|
|Goldfinch Reef||Beginners and above||17-20m (55-65ft)||46m (50 ft) Navy yard oiler 46m laying on its side plus 37m (120 ft) fuel barge.||Lots of coral growth on the wreck and there are grouper, ring tales, grunts, snapper and sea bass.||18km (11m)||$110||12-15m (40-60ft)||Express Watersports||"Dove this site last week. Had near top to bottom viz. Once on the wreck viz was around 70ft. Awesome conditions and awesome dive." Dive Buddy Review|
|Barracuda Alley||Beginners and above||19-21m (61-70ft)||Artificial reef consisting of a 43m (140ft) barge, with concrete piping and steel A-Frames for divers to swim through.||Barracuda and Spadefish.||16km (10m)||$80||11-12m (36-40ft)||Coastal Scuba||"First off the it was over cast & the vis was only around 8 ft but that had nothing to do with Coastal Scuba. Even tho the weather & vis sucked I had a good time, I saw plenty of fish & Barracuda. The crew was very helpful & friendly. I will definitely be diving with them a lot". Trip Adviser Review.|
|JELL II||Advanced and above||20-21m (65-70ft)||A 55m (180 ft) cargo ship used as a drug runner. Sunk in 1993 as part of the NC Artificial Reef program. Possible to penetrate the wreck.||Teaming with fish life, corals and sponges.||26km (16m)||$110||8-9m (26-30ft)||Coastal Scuba||"I finally got off my first North Carolina dive yesterday morning with Coastal Scuba and I must say it was good to get back in salt water. The site was The Jell which is a 20 year old wreck off shore from the Cape Fear river about 10 miles. It sits in 70 feet of water.
Conditions were perfect for these waters. The waves were about 1 foot and the visibility was the best the crew had seen which was about 30 feet of visibility". Trip Adviser Review
|Greenville Reef||Advanced and above||21-24m (70-80ft)||53m (175 ft) barge sunk to create an artificial reef.||Home to some large grouper, scamps and plenty of other sea life.||32km (20m)||$160||20-30m (50-65ft)||Express Watersports||None|
|The “Governor” (or The Suwanee)||Advanced and above||21-24m (70-80ft)||61m (200 ft) 1860's Civil War-era paddle wheeler. This wreck has produced everything from rifles, cannonballs, bullets, plates, buttons, bottles and brass belt buckles.||Southern stingrays plenty of other marine life.||35km (22m)||$110-$125||15-20m (50-65ft)||Coastal Scuba|
|The Pipe Wreck||Advanced and above||24-27m (80-90ft)||Paddle wheeler sunk in 1800's. Boilers and side wheel shafts are evident.||Loads of fish life.||64km (40m)||$120-$150||18-30m (60-100ft)||Coastal Scuba|
|The Raritan wreck||Advanced and above||27m (90ft)||251 foot steel freighter ran aground on Frying Pan Shoals in February 1942. The bow and the stern remain intact.||Plenty of coral growth and abundant tropical marine life, plus sand tiger sharks.||50km (30m)||$140||9-18m (30-60ft)||Coastal Scuba||None|
|The City of Houston||Advanced and above||27m (90ft)||88m (290 ft) passenger/freighter.||Loads of marine life plus artefacts.||88km (55m)||$200||15-27m (50-90 ft)||Coastal Scuba||None|
|BP-25 and NYC Subway cars||Advanced and above||21-30m (70-100ft)||85m (280 ft) British Petroleum Panamian tanker sunk as part of the South Carolina Artificial Reef Program. Plus 40 subway cars were added to the site in 2003. Wreck penetration for certified divers.||Plenty of coral growth, grouper, loggerhead turtles and loads of fish and big animals.||40km (25m)||$120-$125||3-5m (11-15ft)||Coastal Scuba|
|The Hebe and St. Cathan Wrecks aka Twin Cities||Advanced and above||23-30m (75-110 ft)||Dutch merchant vessel the Hebe and the British sub chaser St. Cathan collided during blackout conditions in 1942 in WWII - 14" gun. Still on site (these two wrecks are 1/4 mile apart). Divers still discovering artefacts such as bottles, silverware and ceramics.||Artifacts found and tropical and game fish + Sand Tiger sharks in the spring and autumn.||72km (45m)||$140-$175||15-27m (50-90 ft)||Coastal Scuba|
|Elwoods Ledge||Advanced and above||30m (100 ft)||Megalodon Sharks Teeth have been found here.||Loads of marine life and fish.||50km (30m)||$150||18-24m (60-80ft)||Express Watersports||None|
|Anchor Wreck (thought to be freighter Leif Eriksson)||Advanced and above||27-32m (90-105ft)||An unknown steamer wreck with 3 large anchors near the bow sunk in 1905. Huge expansion engine and boilers.||Loads of marine life and fish.||50km (30m)||$200||18-30m (60-100ft)||Express Watersports||None|
|Angel’s Ledge/Offshore ledges||Advanced and above||12-37m (40-120ft)||Bottom reef.||Known for its queen angels, snapper, trigger fish, amber jack, spiny-lobsters loads of grouper and plenty of fish, plus the chance to see sharks.||64km (50m)||$120-$140||18-30m (60-100ft)||Coastal Scuba|
|The 18-Fathom (SS Ringborg)||Advanced and above||37-39m (121-128ft)||91m (300ft) Copper Ore Freighter sank in 1900's.||Loads of marine life and fish.||50km (30m)||$200||9-18m (30-60ft)||Coastal Scuba||None|
|The Composite Wreck (or RIB wreck due to exposed ribs)||Advanced and above||38-40m (125-130ft)||53m (175 ft) special South Carolina 1800’s shipwreck. Some trinkets can be found.||Loads of marine life and fish including lionfish.||50km (30m)||$180-$200||24-30m (80-100ft)||Coastal Scuba||None|
|USS Vermilion||Advanced and above||27-43m (90-140ft)||143m (470 ft) troop ship during WWII sunk as artificial reef. Too large to be seen on one dive.||An amazing amount of sea life including Atlantic spadefish, grouper . lobsters, stingrays and other tropical fish species. A wreck to rival the Speigel Grove in the Keys (see video below). Sand tigers are also spotted on occasion.||51km (32m)||$140||15-30m (50-100ft)||Express Watersports||None|
1. Dive Buddy Reviews can be found at: http://www.divebuddy.com/
2. Trip Adviser Reviews can be found at: https://www.tripadvisor.com/
3. The above table of dive sites off Myrtle Beach, South Carolina are sorted by depth and diver certification and experience. The depth is sorted by the max depth of the dive site.
4. For the best scuba diving in Myrtle Beach, sort the table by your own preference by selecting the arrows next to the column of choice.
The USS Vermilion wreck dive site
The USS Vermilion is a superb wreck dive for advanced divers, which was a 143 metre (470 ft) WWII troop ship that was sunk to create an artificial reef. The visibility is excellent and is between 15-30 metres (50-100ft), where you’ll see an amazing amount of sea life and an almost intact wreck to explore and penetrate.
The Sherman dive site
The Sherman dive site is 10km (6m) from Myrtle Beach and an ideal dive site for beginner divers, as it lies 16-17 metres (52-55 ft) below the surface. The Sherman (or Princess Royal) was a US Navy ship that was used for running blockades and was sank in 1874 and is home to large shoals of fish.
Pinnacle reef South Carolina
The Pinnacle Reef dive site is a 30 metre (100ft) barge sunk to create an artificial reef, which is 16km (10m) from Myrtle Beach and an ideal dive site for beginner divers. The reef lies 14-19 metres (45-63 ft) below the surface and is home to barracuda, spadefish and large shoals of fish.
Myrtle Beach Charleston tug dive site
Myrtle Beach’s Charleston tug dive site is an ideal dive site for novice divers, as the site is between 9-19 metres (30-62ft) deep. The Charleston was a World War II tugboat that was sunk during the war and is home to barracudas, Spanish mackerel, spade fish, black sea bass and gobies.
Locations of artificial reefs and wrecks in Myrtle Beach
The following map gives the locations of the artificial reef and wreck dive sites in Myrtle Beach. This map of the reefs and wrecks of South Carolina can be found here, which links to the locations of each of these dive sites.
Shark cage diving Myrtle Beach
There is no shark cage diving at Myrtle Beach despite the fact there are many sharks around, which include the three big sharks. You can still dive Myrtle Beach and see sharks, but you’ll have to be content diving without a cage protecting you, which is actually fine.
Shark cage diving Charleston SC
There is no shark cage diving from Charleston SC, which is about 160km (100 miles) south of Myrtle Beach and home to some great diving. Charleston is on an expanse of estuary with merging Ashley and Cooper rivers, which is likely to be home to bull sharks.
Great white shark cage diving South Carolina
Whilst South Carolina and Myrtle Beach have great white sharks, there is no great white shark cage diving from South Carolina. The only chance to dive with great white sharks in South Carolina and Myrtle Beach would be if you are lucky enough to spot one on a dive (see video below).
If you would like to find the best places to cage dive with great white sharks, this article “Where Is The Best Place To Cage Dive With Sharks“, lists 6 of the best places in the world to dive with great white. Or you can cage dive with great white sharks from San Diego too.
The following video of a dive to the south west of the Frying Pan Tower from Southport, which is just 100km (63 miles) north of Myrtle Beach. This dive site is dived from North Myrtle Beach by Coastal Scuba, and in this video the divers are visited by a great white shark.
Is there shark diving in Myrtle Beach?
There are two options to dive with sharks at Myrtle Beach, which include going offshore on a dive boat to see them in their natural environment, or you visit Ripley’s Aquarium and dive with the sharks in their large tank for 30 minutes.
But the dive with sharks experience at Ripley’s Aquarium in Myrtle Beach is not operating at present, so you are currently left with the first alternative, which is to go shark diving offshore from Myrtle Beach instead. This is the better option in my opinion, as you can’t beat the experience of diving with sharks in their natural environment.
This is a video of a dive on The Hebe wreck, which kills two birds with one stone, you get to dive on a World War II wreck and dive with sharks too. The sharks seen on this dive are sand tiger sharks (or ragged tooth sharks).
You may be wondering if Myrtle Beach is also good for snorkeling whilst you visiting South Carolina, please take a read of this article about is there good snorkeling in Myrtle beach, which explains why Myrtle Beach isn’t good for snorkeling.
I hope you enjoyed this page about scuba diving myrtle beach
If you have more questions either about snorkelling or scuba diving (or specifically about scuba diving myrtle beach), please comment below with your questions.
Please share your experiences, plus dive sites, resorts and liveaboards you recommend. Share the time of year of your trip together with what you saw, the visibility, currents and dive operator, as this will help others who read this page.
There will also be many more pages and articles about scuba and scuba diving safety tips (and on snorkelling too) for you to read and learn about this fabulous sport.
Have fun and be safe!