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USS Arkansas

Diving the Wreck

She is turned turtle almost completely, so the majority of the dive is on the sand at 55 meters. You can really see the rippling in the hull from the force of the blast. Massive props to meet you in the stern section. 2 are covered by the sand.

The whole dive is based round the port side as the starboard side is tight against the sand. There is a mooring on one of the prop shafts so without a scooter you can really feel it when you swim the total length of the hull (171m)!

There is penetration opportunities but please bear in mind that all the "heavy stuff" is above your head!


USS Arkansas (BB-33), a Wyoming-class battleship was the third ship of the United States
Navy named in honor of the 25th state.

Arkansas was launched on 14 January 1911 sponsored by Miss Nancy Louise Macon of Helena, Arkansas, daughter of Congressman Robert B. Macon. The ship was commissioned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 17 September 1912,
Captain Roy C. Smith in command.
Arkansas served in both World Wars.
She was part of the U.S. battleship squadron attached to the British Grand Fleet during World War I, Battleship Division Nine.
During World War II she escorted convoys in the Atlantic and bombarded shore targets during the invasions of Normandy, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. She was sunk by the underwater nuclear test BAKER at Bikini Atoll in 1946.



On 1 July, the Arkansas was exposed to an air burst in ABLE, but survived with extensive shock damage to her upperworks, while her hull and armored turrets were little damaged. On 25 July, the battleship was sunk by the underwater nuclear test BAKER at Bikini Atoll. Unattenuated by air, the shock was "transmitted directly to underwater hulls", and Arkansas, only 250 yards from the epicenter, appeared to have been "crushed as if by a tremendous hammer blow from below". It appears that the wave of water from the blast capsized the ship, which was then hammered down into the shallow bottom by the descent of the water column thrown up by the blast.

Decommissioned on 29 July, Arkansas was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 15 August.


Ship Stats

Class and type:   Wyoming-class battleship
Displacement:   27,243 tons
Length:   562 ft (171 m)
Beam:   93.1 ft (28.4 m)
Draft:   28.5 ft (8.7 m)
Speed:   21.05 kn (24.22 mph; 38.98 km/h)
Capacity:   Oil: 400 tons, Coal: 2,751 tons (max) By WWII: Oil: 5,100 tons
Complement:   58 officers, 1,005 men
Armament:   12 × 12 in (300 mm)/50 cal Mark 7 guns
    16 × 5 in (130 mm)/51 cal guns,
2 × 3 in (76 mm)/23 cal AA guns,
4 × 47 mm (1.9 in) saluting guns,
2 × 37 mm (1.5 in), 2 × machine guns,
2 × "landing" guns,
2 × submerged 21 in (530 mm) torpedo tubes



© Pete Mesley's Lust4Rust and Shock&Awe Big Animal Diving - Auckland, New Zealand, 2103