The Bianca C, otherwise known as the “Titanic of the Caribbean”, was a 600 foot 22000 ton cruise liner owned by the Italian Costa Line which sank in 1961 off the coast of Grenada. An explosion in the engine room, which took two lives (the only casualties of the sinking), led to a fire which spread throughout the Bianca C and which burned so fiercely that the hull glowed red and the sea around the cruise ship boiled! All passengers and crew were evacuated and taken to safety by a flotilla of small craft and looked after by the local people. A thank you for their bravery and generosity is still evident today in the statue of the Christ of the Deep with his arms outstretched to heaven situated on the Carenage in St. George’s. The statue was donated to the people of Grenada by the Costa Line, the owners of Bianca C. The cruise ship sank while under tow by a British naval vessel. She broke her tow line and instead of ending up beached on Point Salines (as was planned), her rudder seized full to starboard, she veered off out to sea. Before they could reestablish a line to her, she sank. The wreck now lies in 50m of water at the base of Whibbles Reef. The Government of Grenada (at the time of writing) has asked that she is not left permanently buoyed. This means the most usual method of diving her is a free descent through the blue to her decks at an average depth of 33m. The bottom of the swimming pool is at 38m and the tip of her bow is at 30m.
A drift dive along her length between the two in the prevailing gentle (usually) current takes you past many points of interest. The collapsed funnel of the wreck still sporting a large letter C indicating the “Costa Line”. Some of the lifeboat davits make useful landmarks on your cruise to the bridge. The bridge has now been completely flattened but the view across the fore deck reveals broken stairs, winding winches, fallen spars covered in soft coral and the remains of the forward mast still standing upright. Shoals of small fish, which in turn are surrounded by numbers of larger fish, surround this mast. The top of the food chain is most usually a large barracuda or two, although Black Tip sharks and Bull sharks have been spotted. Forward from here takes you to the tip of the bow and the chance to hang at 30m and look down the hull to 50m and marvel at the sheer size and realize why she earns the title “Titanic of the Caribbean”. Because of her depth a dive on air gives a bottom time of 14 minutes for a no stop dive. Making the short swim to Whibbles reef to enjoy the plentiful coral and fish life that abounds normally extends the total dive time. Another method to extend your dive time not just underwater but on the wreck, without having to make decompression stops, is to dive nitrox. ScubaTech Dive Center Grenada is one of the few operators here on Grenada who has the facilities to blend the full range of nitrox mixes. Even tough the Bianca C offers fantastic wreck diving she is just the tip of the ice berg of Grenada’s wreck diving possibilities.
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Wreck of Bianca C – Gallery