The North Carolina
32 15 41.88N, 64 57 32.70W
This 205 foot English iron-hulled baroque struck the reef off the western portion of the island in 1880 on New Year's Day some 8 km to the southwest of Bermuda. It sits upright in 25-40 feet of water with its bowsprit, sail rigging and deadeyes in place.
One of Bermuda's most colorful and well-preserved wrecks it is a favorite with photographers and filmmakers and has appeared in numerous documentaries. The bow, stern and portions of her distinctive rigging including some surviving dead eyes, are all evident, and all sorts of vibrant marine life call the wreck home. It is truly one of the classic wrecks of Bermuda exhibiting all the characteristics one would imagine make up a shipwreck making her a very popular dive site.
The North Carolina originally came to lie on the reef in decent shape and sank while she was being pulled off. It is rumored that she had in fact been refloated successfully but that a surge of ocean pushed her back onto the same reef in what should have been a relatively harmless brush but she came to lie on one of her own anchors which had not been brought in and this caused a breach in her hull which led to her sinking.
This ship is very interesting because it is one of the first entirely steel ships and is therefore built with the same methodologies and sensitivities as a wooden ship. The stern, completely framed, riveted and clad in steel, has all the shape curve and grace of a classic wooden ships stern.
This wreck is buoyed under the Bermuda Dive Sites program established by the Marine Environmental Committee of the Bermuda National Trust in association with the Ministry of the Environment and is a protected site with a 300m no fishing limitation.
The North Carolina appeared in the Bermuda Sun Unprotected Historic Wrecks List submitted by the Receiver of Wreck in October 1977.