San Diego, California
The HMCS Yukon is a Canadian destroyer that was intentionally sunk as an artificial reef in July of 2000. The vessel now rests in the Pacific Ocean less than two miles off the coast of San Diego California. She is in approximately100' of water. Most areas of the ship are well within the reach of recreational divers.
Since her sinking in 2000, the Yukon has become one of the main local attractions in San Diego for scuba divers.
History of HMCS Yukon
The Yukon sinking project was managed by the San Diego Oceans Foundation in cooperation with the Artificial Reef Society of British Columbia. The ship was specially prepared to make it more accessible to divers- holes were cut to allow easy penetration. Oil, paint, wires and other potential hazards were removed from the ship before it was introduced into the ocean. To decorate the ship, murals were painted on various parts of the ship and plaques were attached to designate entry points. As a promotional gesture, numbered coins were hidden on the ship, which could be redeemed for prizes by the divers that discovered them.
Not everything went as planned for the sinking of the Yukon; the night before the ship was destined to go down, the Yukon took on water and sunk before it reached its proposed destination. She was meant to sit upright on the bottom, but came to rest on her port side.
The water conditions are usually a bit chilly at this depth. Surge can potentially complicate this dive, even to the point of sucking divers in through open holes in the wreck. Should you find yourself sucked in, stay calm and let the surge push you back out.
At the time of this writing, the ship is beggining to deteriorate, so as with any wreck dive, caution must be excercized to avoid contact with potentially hazardous objects projecting from the ship.
Most commercial dive boats that travel to the Yukon are well prepared and stocked with heads, snacks, emergency equipment and navigational systems.