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The Prince Albert Wreck was the first scuttled freighter in Honduras, today offering a rich underwater marine environment.
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The Prince Albert is an island freighter, with an intact superstructure, that was intentionally sunk in Roatan sometime in 1987. The tanker, owned by a group of Nicaraguans, left Nicaragua with a cargo of war refugees, headed for Roatan. After escaping its war-ravaged country and delivering the refugees, the ship remained in French Harbour, where it was stripped of valuables and left, partially submerged.
Bill Evans, owner of Coco View Resort, saw an opportunity to remove a hazard and gain a wreck for the benefit of his diving guests. Securing government approval proved difficult for Evans, but not impossible with assistance from local businessman Albert Jackson. Evans hired clean-up and welding crews and set about the task of preparing it for sinking.
Three weeks later, a local shrimp boat towed the tanker to Coco View. The sea was rough, and during the effort to transfer lines, they snapped and the ship ended up on the reef. Efforts over several weeks to release it were unsuccessful, and resulted in severe damage to the shrimp boat. Finally, in January 1985, a new steel-hulled shrimp boat owned by Jerry Hynds was commissioned for the task, and the ship was successfully pulled off the reef. A joint effort between the shrimp boats and the Coco View fleet tied the bow into the wind, then pumped water in until it sank. Soon after, a Coco View guest suggested that Evans name the ship Prince Albert, in appreciation of the assistance Mr. Jackson provided.
Nineteen years later, the tanker is in remarkably good shape, sitting upright in 18m of water. Many years of algae and soft coral growth now cover the 42 meter hull and a large collection of fish species have found their home in the cave-like structure. She is an interesting and save wreck to explore and no lights are required to enter the wreck. The deck hatches are open and penetration is possible through most openings. There is also a DC-3 airplane with an intact fuselage close by.
You may find thousands of silversides hovering inside and drift together in large schools, forming a shimmering synchronized display for the watcher. Near the wreck life's a colony of garden eels. Eagle rays frequent the wreck, a resident moray stands guard near the stern, and arrow crabs and seahorses share space along the deck. The wreck is completely covered with corals. Visibility is medium to excellent depending on the tide.
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The stunning Prince Albert Wreck was an island freighter that sank in Roatan in 1987 and has been under water long enough for an amazing amount of coral to have grown on her. Every part is covered with a great variety of soft and hard coral and lots of fish have made it their home. The wreck is 140ft long and lies on a sloping shallow sand patch from 40 – 70ft in depth. If you visit in the summer you can sometimes find schools of silversides inside her. Close by is the wreck of a DC3 airplane.
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