The best wreck dive in the British Virgin Islands
The wreck of the RMS Rhone is the most popular dive site in the British Virgin Islands, now lying within a protected marine park extending from Salt Island to Dead Chest Island.
The RMS Rhone was a British Royal Mail steamer, which sank during a hurricane in 1867 and still lies, largely intact, off the west coast of Salt Island in the Little Sisters chain of islands south of Tortola.
Named one of the top wreck dives in the Caribbean, due to its historical interest and importance for marine life, the Rhone is easily accessible to trained scuba divers, lying at depths between 7m and 24m.
The area is now a protected National Park, which includes the nearby Dead Chest Island, and the coral-encrusted wreck acts as an artificial reef, providing shelter for a vast array of marine species including sponges, eels, lobsters, octopi and turtles as well as numerous varieties of fish.
Night dives provide a particularly atmospheric experience, giving divers the chance to explore the surviving bow section, engines, boilers and propeller by artificial light.
The coral-encrusted wreck acts as an artificial reef, providing shelter for a vast array of marine species
RMS Rhone Marine Park extends westwards from Salt Island to the uninhabited Dead Chest Island, which is itself a National Park.
There are three dive sites around Dead Chest Island - once, allegedly, a haunt of the pirate Blackbeard - where novice divers and snorkellers can discover various coral species and explore a network of caves.
Further out in the Marine Park, the underwater ledges and pinnacles of Blonde Rock provide another interesting dive spot.
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