International Talk Like a Pirate Day: Famous Shipwrecks and Where to Find Them

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Shiver me timbers, International Talk Like a Pirate Day is fast approaching! International Talk Like a Pirate Day is an obscure and frivolous festival that takes place on the 19th of September and consists of, you guessed it, talking like a pirate all day long! This quirky holiday was initiated by two pals who decided to talk like a pirate all day for fun, not realising that it would become such a hit! The event was first celebrated in 1995 and has subsequently become popular on social media. In honour of International Talk Like a Pirate Day, we’ve rounded up some of the world’s most famous shipwrecks and where to find them. 

Oahu, Hawaii 

The wreckages of the Sea Tiger and the Yo-257 are both located in the waters of Oahu, Hawaii. Along the coast of Diamond Head State Monument is where you’ll find the shipwreck of the US Navy refuelling vessel Yo-257, which has become a hotspot for all sorts of sea life, including white tip reef sharks and eagle rays. The Sea Tiger resides in the waters of Oahu’s Waikiki Beach, and is a Chinese fishing ship from the 1990s. The Sea Tiger is a very popular site amongst experienced divers because they have been able to enter the underwater shipwreck and safely investigate it for themselves, something that is not hugely common amongst more recent shipwrecks due to safety precautions. 

photo of the sunken sea tiger

Cagliari, Italy

The sea of Cagliari is home to a number of sunken ships and submarines from WW2. The crystal clear Mediterranean waters of Sardinia make this attraction so popular amongst divers and tourists alike, as the water clarity allows you to see the wreckages without having to get too close. There’s a lot of sunken debris in Sardinian waters, but the wrecks of Cagliari are particularly famous due to their accessibility and visibility. Plus, the water is home to lots of curious fish and colourful marine animals which can be easily spotted due to the water’s clarity and good lighting, so be sure to bring your underwater camera or a waterproof phone case!

photo of debris on the shore of cagliari

Shag Rock, The Red Sea

The SS Thistlegorm was a British Naval ship that sank in 1941 and was discovered in 1950. This shipwreck can be found in the Red Sea, and is often visited by both professional divers and tourists on excursions departing from Sharm el Sheikh. This diving site is particularly interesting because the shipwreck still features equipment and supplies that would have been used to transport troops. Amongst ammunition and rifles, Wellington boots and motorcycles were also found within the shipwreck. If you’re interested in visiting the SS Thistlegorm from Sharm el Sheikh, you can do so via boat: there are a number of companies that offer scuba diving excursions and they typically take four hours in each direction. 

photo of the motorcycles onboard the shipwreck of the ss thistlegorm

Outer Banks, North Carolina

The Outer Banks have been nicknamed ‘The Graveyard of the Atlantic’, and for good reason! This stretch of sea is said to be home to over 3,000 shipwrecks, thought to be due to strong winds from offshore storms which in turn create large waves and currents. A vast number of shipwrecks have washed up on the Outer Banks beaches throughout the years, some of which are predicted to be over a century old. This is a great place to visit if you’re a slightly less experienced diver, as many of the shipwrecks found in these waters protrude out of the ocean, or sit ever-so-slightly below the surface. One of the most famous shipwrecks rumoured to be in the Outer Banks is the remains of El Salvador, a Spanish ship wrecked in 1750. This ship is said to have been carrying a vast amount of gold and silver treasure, in true Jack Sparrow fashion. The wreckage of the USS Huron can also be found in these waters and is one of the most popular diving spots within the area due to its myriad marine life.

photo of shipwreck on the shore of outer banks

Chuuk Lagoon, Micronesia

Chuuk Lagoon is over 70 years old and can be found in Micronesia, about 1,800km northwest of Papua New Guinea. Chuuk Lagoon (also referred to as Truk Lagoon) is world famous due to the vast amount of debris that exists beneath the water. The wrecks that can be found at this lagoon are now coated with colourful coral, causing the site to attract a large amount of fish and other sea creatures. Because of this, Chuuk Lagoon has become a highly sought-after diving spot particularly between the months of December and April, when the water is clear and the currents are weaker. This being said, it is important to be sensitive when visiting Chuuk Lagoon—while it is a fascinating historical site, it is also the result of conflict between the United States of America and Japan during the Second World War.

photo of a shipwreck coated in coral in Chuuk lagoon