The USS Oriskany, or the “Mighty O,” is one of the largest artificial reefs in the world and one of three diveable aircraft carriers in the world along with the USS Saratoga in the Bikini Atoll and the HMS Hermes in Sri Lanka.
The aircraft carrier measures 277 meters/911 feet in length, 45 meters/148 feet in width, and 45 meters/150 feet in height. It rests on the sea bottom at 65 meters/212 feet with its top at 26 meters/84 feet below the water surface.
The ship was built shortly after WWII and served for about 26 years, earning ten battle stars for service in the Vietnam War and two battle stars for service in the Korean War. It was decommissioned in 1976 and in 2006, as part of the Navy program to recycle and reef decommissioned ships, it was sunk to create a new artificial reef.
Both recreational and technical divers can dive at the USS Oriskany dive site, but because of its depth, only technical divers can explore the lower tower decks and the hull. This can be a challenging dive at times due to the potentially strong currents that often occur at this site.
Some of the wildlife you can spot while diving here includes eagle rays, tuna, goliath groupers, snappers, and amberjacks. Even whale sharks and manta rays have been seen here.