Diving the HMCS Columbia

Divesafe International students get to dive the HMCS Columbia during their Commercial SCUBA and Surface Supply courses.  

The Columbia is a 112 meter (366ft) destroyer which was decommissioned and sunk on June 22, 1996 off the shores of Quadra Island just outside of Campbell River.  This is the third naval destroyer to be sunk by the Artificial Reef Society of British Columbia. HMCS Columbia is a Non-Modified Restigouche Class Destroyer Escort.

This spectacular 366-foot vessel sits at a 35° list to port with the bow at a maximum depth of 120 feet. The superstructure and wheelhouse reach approximately 60 feet. This allows a variety of dive profiles - depending on the diving projects for the day.

20 years later, it is a thriving artificial reef. Due to the rock bottom the bow of the 2800 tonne ship crumpled like an accordion when it hit the bottom. Many access holes have been cut to open up most of the interior's six decks to properly trained and equipped wreck divers. 

Although the interior may be brightly lit, with lots of ambient light when you first arrive, sediment and silt will be lifting and reducing the visibility around you to zero. This is just one of many mistakes that can be made around wrecks by novice and experienced divers alike. Please respect this warning.