Dive Plan for the USS Oriskany shipwreck
Location : 30 02.555’N 87 00.397’W. 22 miles south of Pensacola, Florida.
Depth: At ocean floor 212fsw
Vessel: Aircraft Carrier
Air source: Air/Nitrox Aluminum 80
SCF-80 available 74.64
Consumption rate 3.22 cfm
Average duration = 23 min
USS Oriskany commissioned in 1950 was active in the Vietnam, and Korean War. The Vessel withstood a 25 year service life and was decommissioned in 1975 and was sold for scrap. The scrapping company defaulted and the carrier was repossessed by the Navy. In 2004 the Oriskany was towed from Beaumont Texas to Pensacola Florida to be sunk as an artificial reef in 212 feet of water 22 miles off the coast. The Oriskany is a whopping 911 feet long, and the flight deck alone sits at 145 fsw. This means that the vast majority of the wreck is off limits to recreational scuba divers and required special gear. The bridge or “island” has been stripped of all entanglement hazards and made safe for recreational divers. The Island sits at 85 fsw this puts you on a 90 fsw table and have a max bottom time of 30 minutes. My personal opinion is to go to the next depth table just in case you accidentally descend past your planned depth. That puts you on a 100/25 and a plan to leave bottom with 3-5 minutes to spare. This ensures you will always be able to make a safe ascent to the surface with little risk of any diving related illnesses. The visibility is usually from 60-100 feet making it easy to navigate. To be honest it’s a huge wreck and hard to miss. One risk is maintaining buoyancy due to the fact that you are not hitting bottom! On this Island you will have a swim through into the flight control room however I advise not to go deeper than the flag bridge. There is an urge to travel deeper to see more and even enter the wreck at the flight deck level but it is not a good and will most likely end in tragedy. The rest of the wreck was not cleared of insulation and wiring and is an extreme hazard for engagement. Make it easy on yourself and take a dive charter for this one. The best dive charter in Pensacola is Dive Pros. Be safe out there diving and enjoy this amazing site!
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