St. George Wreck
Dive center: Reef Oasis Dive Club – Dominican
Dive depth: 30 - 40m
Water temperature: 26.2 - 29.4℃
Dive type: Wreck
Description: Length 73 m / 240 ft , Stern 31 m / 102 ft , Top of the wreck 15 m / 50 ft , Distance from Viva Dominicus beach 800m / 0.5 mile
Originally known as M.V. Norbrae, the St. George was built in 1962, in Ardrossan shipyard in Strathclyde, Scotland. This 240 feet long, transatlantic cargo freighter, which transported wheat and barley between Norway and the Americas, was abandoned in Santo Domingo harbor after 20 years of service and was renamed after taking the full brunt of Hurricane George in 1999.
On June 12th 1999 the St.George was sunk offshore of La Romana-Bayahibe to create an artificial reef and an interesting diving location.
The evolution of an artificial reef
Artificial reefs are created worldwide to enhance recreational diving opportunities while providing habitat for marine organisms. To create an artificial reef, stable and environmentally safe material, such as the St. George, is placed on the ocean floor.
Once in the ocean, the ship provides hard substrate necessary to establish a reef community. Although the substrate is manmade there is nothing artificial about the host of marine organisms that inhabit virtually all available space. Coral polyps attach to the substrate and colonize the area together with a myriad of sponges and algae. These marine organisms provide both food and shelter for a variety of more complex reef creatures like crustaceans and reef fish.
Given the diverse assemblage of organisms, large predators, such as barracudas who have been known to stake out their territory within hours of sinking a ship, make the St. George their home.