SCUBA Diving in New Jersey
New Jersey's coast provides SCUBA divers bounty of underwater places to explore and a rich supply of marine life that includes great lobster finds. Along with thousands of shipwrecks off the coast, the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife has created a number of artificial reefs, making New Jersey an easy destination for divers looking for underwater adventures.
Many of the shipwrecks, like that of the R.P. Resor, come with fascinating histories. Found 120 feet beneath the water 32 miles off Long Beach Island, the Resor was one of the victims of a World War II German U-boat operating off the coast. When U-578 torpedoed the Standard Oil of New Jersey tanker on Feb. 28, 1942, residents of the resort towns along the coast could see the fire and smoke from their homes. The Resor is considered one of the best deep-dive locations on the coast, with good visibility, large schools of cod and outstanding lobstering - sometimes lobsters are of record size. The Resor also is the site of shark-fishing tournaments in late summer.
Go on an underwater adventure with one of the many dive shops in New Jersey, where you can get SCUBA certified, take advanced courses and go on guided diving excursions along the coastline. Atlantic Divers in Cape May offers a calendar filled with wreck diving training courses and off-site adventures, such as exploring the stern of the Gulf Trade, an oil tanker that was torpedoed by the German submarine U-588, breaking the tanker in two pieces and creating two separate dive sites just off the coast of Barnegat Inlet. This wreck is well-known as an excellent lobster fishing site.
In Short Hills, plan a dive with Underwater Adventures Dive Center, where you will hop on the Gypsy Blood charter boat and venture offshore to nearby wreck sites, such as the USS Algol, one of the ships that are part of the New Jersey Artificial Reef Program. This Navy transport ship was sank in 1991 after a successful service career dating back to WWII. The vessel is completely intact, making it easy to explore its many areas, which are now filled with marine life such as mussels ad blackfish.
Elite Divers in Cedar Knolls also offers a lineup of New Jersey shipwreck dives, from exploring the Maurice Tracy, sunk in 1944, to the S.S. Mohawk, sunk in 1935. This PADI 5 Star Dive Center also offers a number of classes, as well as high-quality dive gear.