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  • The Hermes
    Bermudas Most Popular Shipwreck Dive
    By Geri Murphy
    When it comes to a completely intact sunken ship, the Hermes is by far Bermudas most popular wreck dive. Sitting upright on a flat sand bottom in 80 feet of water, this little steel ship presents the classic image of a shipwreck.

    The Hermes was a 165 foot steel hulled buoy tender built during World War II (1943) in Pennsyl- vania. Operated by the U.S. Navy, the little 254 ton ship featured a unique configuration. Her mast was directly in front of the wheelhouse and the cargo hold was in the forward part of the ship. Connected to the mast was a 20 ton cargo boom that allowed the ship to pick up navigation buoys and lower them into her hold.

    After the Hermes was decommissioned, she operated as a Panamanian registered freighter named Brava Fogo. In 1983, the vessel broke down near Bermuda while carrying a cargo of second hand gifts for poor families in the Cape Verde Islands. She limped into St. Georges Harbour, where she remained for almost a year. Repairs were estimated to cost more than the ship was worth and she was abandoned by her owners.

    After an anticipated sale of the vessel did not materialize, the Bermuda government awarded the derelict to the Bermuda Divers Association for the creation of an artificial reef. The vessel was thoroughly cleaned and made diver safe prior to her final voyage on May 15, 1985.

    The Hermes was sunk one mile off Bermuda's South Shore, close to the Southampton Princess and Sonesta Beach hotels. Today, the vessel sits upright on the bottom, with her starboard side up against a high profile coral reef. Visibility at this wreck site ranges from 80 to 150 feet. The major points of interest include the forward cargo hold, the deck winch, the wheelhouse, the galley and the engine room. All of these areas are fully open to dive exploration.

    The wreck is a favorite among underwater photographers and videographers because she is intact, the visibility is exceptionally clear and lighting conditions are bright. The white sand bottom reflects sunlight and helps eliminate the dark shadows normally found around shipwrecks.

    Despite more than a decade of submersion, this wreck remains relatively clean of marine growth and is still in excellent condition.



    BERMUDA DIVE OPERATORS





    The Hermes is just one of dozens of shipwrecks awaiting exploration. If you are interested in visiting Bermuda and diving the wrecks, contact any of Bermudas dive operators:

    Blue Water Divers Co., Ltd.

    P.O. Box SN 165

    Southampton SN BX, Bermuda

    (441) 234-1034

    (441) 234-3561 (fax)

    Fantasea Diving

    Darrells Wharf

    1 Harbour Road

    Paget PG 01, Bermuda

    (441) 236-6339

    (441) 236-8926 (fax)

    Nautilus Diving, Ltd.

    P.O. Box HM237

    Hamilton HM AX, Bermuda

    (441) 238-2332

    (441) 295-9485

    (441) 234-5180 (fax)

    Scuba Look

    Grotto Bay Beach Hotel

    P.O. Box 658

    Warwick WK BX, Bermuda

    (441) 293-7319

    (441) 295-2421 (fax)

    South Side Scuba

    Sonesta Beach Resort

    P.O. Box PG 38

    Paget PG BX, Bermuda

    (441) 238-1833

    (441) 236-0394 (fax)