Scuba Destination Spotlight #20: Donegal, Ireland

Ireland may not be a tropical destination that’s littered with coral reefs and exotic marine life, but what it lacks in natural spectacle it sure does make for it in unique ambiance.

Donegal is one of the best place to dive in in Europe, especially for wreck-diving. There are more wrecks there than anywhere else in the world, particularly Ocean Liners, German U-boats, and Sherman Tanks, especially right off the coast of Malin Head.

The majority of these wrecks if from both World Wars, because the location is a natural bottleneck where significant tonnage in shipping was attacked and sunk during wartime.

Scuba Diving Donegal

The most attractive diving spots are sunken wrecks, and even those haven’t been fully explored, mostly due to the sheer number of wrecks available to dive in.

One of the more known wrecks is the SS Empire Heritage which sunk in 1944. It lies 70 meters below the water and is 15 miles north-west off Malin Head.

She was torpedoed on route from New York to Liverpool by a German submarine, and most of its cargo was Sherman Tanks that were destined to fight in the war, and now they’re on the bottom of the ocean floor.

Divers get excited when approaching these wrecks because most of the time you don’t really know what you’re going to see. Is it going to be a tank, or a warship, or maybe a submarine?


Or maybe a magnificent ocean liner destroyed on its way back to America? The joy of discovery is present in these waters, and that makes your mind race to a conclusion – what really happened with the sight you see before you.

With the clearest waters in the region, diving around Donegal means finding out mysteries and getting in touch with history, as you’re sure to always find something there that you may not always find anywhere else in the world.

Did you see Scuba Spotlight #19?

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Justin Carmack
Justin is a dive master and world traveler on a mission to dive and document the top 100 dive sites in the world. In doing this he hopes to bring love for the marine environment to the world!

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