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Scuba Diving in Aruba, Caribbean
Dive Site: Antilla Wreck
Location: Aruba, Dutch Caribbean
Description: WWII German Freighter
Length: 130 metres (427 feet) long, wide open entry and exit locations
Depth: 23 metres (75 feet)
Visibility: 30 metres (100 feet)
Aruba fades into the background as a dive location. I am not a wreck diver, but this one has large entry and exits locations. The visibility is striking and the water is full of fish, coral and some of the coral creatures. On the last day of three days of diving I swam with a 15 foot long whale shark that approached the dive boat. All the gear had been put away when this beauty appeared under the boat in 25 ft of water. 3 divers grabbed mask fins and snorkel to our hearts delight. The divemaster hooked on to its tail and I managed to succeed with the same feat. When I grabbed its tail the fish decided to swim and I was sent backwards like an empty aluminium can. Later I asked the divemaster "How often do you see this fish in this area?" His answer was " This is my first experience with a whale shark and I've been a divemaster in Aruba for 11 years". A diver in the water sent me the picture shown of the whale shark from May 26, 2004. There is a ramora in tow on this fish at the tail.
Patrick O'Neill, PADI Open Water
I was on that dive as a resort course diver and was one of the guys who grabbed my mask, snorkel and fins and jumped in. I can't seem to remember anyone being down on the whale shark but I'm going to Aruba 1/10/09 and will ask Tito and (I think the divemaster's is Baro - he was my dive buddy) from Mermaid Sports.
The Antilla has been badly damaged by last storms and is not safe anymore to enter. Also this wreck is leaking oil.
Henri Barrau, MSDT instructor 931017 | 17/07/2009
The wreck has indeed sustained a lot of damage in the past 15 years; the damage is both from the weather conditions and from the water sport operators. Many operators have been tying the boats onto the wreck which has caused irreversible damage, in about five to ten more years this wreck will be totally collapsed.
DR | 14/11/2009
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