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10 Aug 2010

Scuba diving plane wrecks can be fun and feel a lot like traveling through time. Check out this recent article from the maui news.

WAILUKU – A World War II-era wreck off South Maui first documented in January has been identified as an SBC-2 Helldiver, ditched in Maalaea Bay on a training flight by a Navy pilot in 1944.

Maritime archaeologist Hans Van Tilburg of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration dived to the site Saturday and confirmed that it was the plane identified by two groups of private divers separately investigating the wreck. He said the U.S. Navy was in the process of making a plaque to mark the site, which is protected under state and federal law, and that officials may also consider installing a mooring nearby.

Van Tilburg said the aircraft was a rare find, not only because the wreck was almost completely preserved, but also because there are very few Helldivers left in existence.

“I’m definitely impressed,” he said. “It’s remarkably intact. I’ve seen a number of aircraft like this, and this one is very intact. That makes it very special.”

When the wreck was first documented in January, it was initially believed to be an SBD Dauntless dive bomber. But B&B Scuba Maui owner Brad Varney, who first reported the site to government authorities after learning about it from a local fisherman, said he realized after visiting the wreck a second time that it was actually a Helldiver.

Today the plane rests on the sandy bottom of Maalaea Bay in about 50 feet of water, encrusted with coral and surrounded by schools of fish.

read the full article here:


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3 Responses to Wreck Diving in Maui
  1. I actually identified the plane with help from experts… The whole entire story is on the dive site page on bbscuba.com. It might be nice to give a link on your blog to the dive site page. We have the original crash report and lots of photos of the wreck… We found it, we researched it, we identified it… We did it all.. Anyone claiming anything else is lying… not that it matters, but I guess it matters enough to try to get some credit..

    Regarding the Maui News – I told the author about her inaccuracies yet she never changed a word… From her article “Maui first documented in January has been identified as an SBC-2 Helldiver” An SBC-2 is a 30’s era biplane first called a Helldiver… not the correct ID.. How shockingly bad reporting… an article about the identification of the wreck and the idiot ILIMA LOOMIS can’t get the model # right… The fact that they make no corrections shows what a poor “news” organization they are…

    If you post this or not no prob. At least you will know the truth! 🙂


  2. Mahalo Sean for Sharing. Fascinating stuff here.

  3. Glad you posted the truth instead of a diving store promoting glamour.

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