If you’re a diving enthusiast, then the wreck of the SS President Coolidge just off the coast of Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu should be an attractive location to experience a piece of World War II history.
Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu was a major base for the allied due to its strategic location on the Pacific Ocean. It was one of the major junction points for transit of weapons and manpower during the war. 26th october1942 was that eventful day when the SS President Coolidge went down with all but two hands. Those were the only two souls who made it out alive out of the sinking ship. On its way through the Segond Channel to its destination, the ship hit a floating mine, that had been laid in trap for countering small submarines. Within 90 minutes the ship went down with all vital supplies of ammunition, medicines, transports and nearly 5000 personnel aboard.
Today the wreck has become a part of the marine ecosystem, a thriving world that sustains a diverse number of marine creatures including sharks, large pelagics and other marine creatures. Allan Power from Allan Power Dive Tours was one of the first diving enthusiasts who had dived the SS President Coolidge wreck, way back in 1969. Since then more than 1000 divers have dived the SS President Coolidge and explored the dark waters to see its final resting place and also enjoyed the marine diversity that now calls it their home. Divers from all around the globe and Aussies in particular fancy the SS President Coolidge wreck as an important diving destination. But apart from the ship there are several other spots to dive and explore off Espiritu Santo. According to Allan, the dive site and the ship wreck has stood up to decades of tourists and there is no reason why it should not continue to be a great spot for divers for years to come.
To mark the 70th anniversary of that eventful day when the SS President Coolidge went down, Dive Adventures and Allways Dive Expeditions have come up with several packages for divers willing to explore the site. For only $1529 per person Dive Adventures offers a seven day package of eight dives to the site along with return fares on Air Vanuatu from Sydney to Espiritu Santo via Port Vila. The offer also includes accommodation at the Deco Stop Lodge on twin sharing basis, transfers and all taxes.
Allways Dive Expeditions on the other hand, is offering 10 dives at a cost of $899. Their cost includes accommodation at the Beachfront Resort and encompasses breakfast, all diving gear, dive guides and return transfer. The price is on a twin sharing basis and does not include air fare.