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Scuba Diving the HMCS Saskatchewan Wreck in British Columbia

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This video was taken during a recent wreck dive on the HMCS Saskatchewan, just outside of Nanaimo, British Columbia (Sept 25, 2022). It’s an amazing wreck with a lot of life. The visibility was excellent on this day, and we could clearly see the surface from the ship’s deck, which lies about 90 feet under the water.

About the HMCS Saskatchewan

The HMCS Saskatchewan was a Mackenzie-class destroyer that served in the Royal Canadian Navy. It is 366 feet long with a beam of 42 feet. The ship was purchased by the Artificial Reef Society of British Columbia in 1997 and was sunk off of Snake Island just outside of Nanaimo in June of 1997.

It is certainly an impressive wreck to see for divers coming to Vancouver Island. There are three mooring buoys on the ship, one located at the bow, one mid-ship, and another located on the stern. The top of the superstructure lies at about 60-65 feet deep depending on the tide with the stern of the ship at about 90 feet. The ship lies with a slight list to the port side.

It’s a dive more catered towards those with their advanced open-water certifications as it’s on the deeper side and current can sometimes be a concern. To properly enjoy this wreck Nitrox certification is recommended.

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Dive Report

Date: Sept 25, 2022

Dive Site: HMCS Saskatchewan
Location: Nanaimo, BC
Water Temperature: 10°C
Visibility: 25m
Dive Time: 53 mins
Max Depth: 97 Feet (29.5m)
Best Time to Visit: September to February for the best visibility.

Who To Call?
Nanaimo Dive Outfitters
1-(250)-756-1863

Site Highlights: The HMCS Saskatchewan is an impressive artificial reef that has been down long enough for an abundance of life to grow. The visibility at this site is often very good and it’s not uncommon to be able to see the surface from the deck (60-90 feet).

The wreck has been made safe for divers who wish to penetrate or just enjoy cruising around the outside. There are ports and holes and doorways to look through and peer inside.

Common Species: Plumose Anemone, Lingcod, Shiner Perch, Tubesnouts, Herring and Anchovie Schools, Rockfish, Cabezon, Nudibranchs, Sea Lions.

Hazards: Deeper dive, currents can sometimes be strong, surface conditions are not always calm.

Thanks to Carl at ScubaBC for his Submission of this Video Report.

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About Author

Kathy is the owner of Kirk Scuba Gear, a passionate Scuba Diver, Ocean Advocate and Managing Editor of The Scuba News Canada

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