SCUBA Diving in Padre Island

SCUBA Diving in Padre Island
South Padre Island is a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Texas. From shipwrecks, such as Pat's Wreck, to old gas rigs such as Little Adam, the waters around this island are filled with tropical fish, dolphins and other marine life that will swim right by you--making this a great place to scuba dive. Padre Island has a sub-tropical climate, which means the gulf waters are warm most of the year. The gulf has short waves and when winds are high the surf can be rough, but diving in summer finds calmer and flatter water.

Texas Clipper

Located 17 miles off the coast of South Padre Island, the Texas Clipper is a former naval ship that is an artificial reef in the Gulf of Mexico. Barnacles, bryozoans, sponges, clams, corals and hydroids that form on the reef attract a variety of marine life. Divers exploring the Texas Clipper can expect to see turtles, barracuda, sheepshead and other marine life. Whale sharks and hammerheads will show up near the clipper, and, as the reef matures, even more aquatic species will visit the area.

Deep Six Padre
P.O. Box 1423
Port Isabel, TX 78578
(956) 772-4710
deepsixpadre.com

Liberty Ships Reef

Just 23 miles off the shore of South Padre Island is the Liberty Ships Reef. This area has three ships and 13 oil rigs. The site is part of the Artificial Reef Program of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. This program designates old or wrecked ships and obsolete gas and oil rigs as underwater havens for marine life. Divers at the Liberty Ships Reef can go to depths ranging from 45 to 130 feet. Some of the marine life you might see during the dive include coral, sponges, spotfin butterflyfish, fireworm, sea turtle, shark, barracuda, rock hind group and a variety of angelfish.

American Diving
33256 Park Road 100
Suite 104
South Padre Island, TX 78597
(956) 761-2030
divesouthpadre.com

Ship Wreck Reefs

Several ship wrecks off the coast of Padre Island have made good dive sites. The Albatross is a favorite hangout for rays, turtles and large game fish. The Dona Nelly, 20 miles off the coast, is intact. Diving to the wreck of the Godfather will mean a 1 hour, 20 minute boat ride, but once there, divers find portholes still in place, which enhances underwater photography options.

American Diving
33256 Park Road 100
Suite 104
South Padre Island, TX 78597
(956) 761-2030
divesouthpadre.com

Iron Reefs

Serena's Rig and Little Sara are known as iron reefs because they are natural gas rigs. Divers go 126 feet down to get to Serena and 105 to get to Sara. At these rigs, divers see a variety of marine life and have opportunities for underwater videography and photography.

American Diving
33256 Park Road 100
Suite 104
South Padre Island, TX 78597
(956) 761-2030
divesouthpadre.com

Article Written By Serena Brown

Serena Brown graduated from the University of South Alabama with a bachelor's degree in communication. She has more than 15 years of experience in newspaper, radio and television reporting. Brown has also authored educational, medical and fitness material.

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