In 2021, Belize’s UNESCO-protected Turneffe Atoll became a part of history as hosting the country’s largest wreck dive and reef enhancement project. The wreck site is that of a 375-foot concrete ship named Wit Concrete, whose history is as astounding as its newest home.
The ship, which was sunken as part of the artificial reef project, has a history dating back to the 1940s, presumably built to transport supplies around the Gulf Coast during the second world war. It’s last task before being sunken was for storing molasses by the Belize Sugar Industries Ltd.
Now, “The Wit” as it is affectionately known, was gifted to the Turneffe Atoll Sustainability Association (TASA) in hopes to relieve stress on nearby natural reef habitats. This alternative wreck dive destination also hopes to provide a new source of income for the marine reserve and its stakeholders, as it will be placed at Blackbird Caye, within the Soldier Caye Conservation Zone in the Turneffe Atoll marine Reserve and entrance fees to the dive site will be required.
TASA and Belize’s Ministry of Blue Economy is certain the massive 375-foot ship will provide a unique diving experience while also increasing the marine biodiversity that is much needed during these times. Besides, wreck diving is an extremely popular activity among environmentally conscious divers, as the Executive Director of TASA shared.
The ship was thoroughly stripped of any hazardous material before being sunk, and access points were created for easier diving. In the long term, TASA aims to develop an impactful and exclusive experience where divers can directly participate in scientific monitoring, protection of the area and other new exciting opportunities.