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Cozumel is famous because of the beauty of its reefs. This paradise is full of marine life and opportunities for diving. However, the waters surrounding the Mayan Island keep many other treasures hidden just waiting to be discovered. One of them is a Shipwreck in Chankanaab Cozumel. Felipe Xicoténcatl C-53 is the name of this wreck and believe us: Diving it during your next visit is worth it. Keep reading and discover it.
1. Chankanaab Cozumel Is Much More Than an Attraction Park
Most tourists who visit Cozumel have heard the name Chankanaab related to an amusement Eco-Archaeological Park located at km 9 on the south coast of Cozumel Island and within the National Park “Arrecifes de Cozumel.”
In the Mayan language, Chankanaab means small ocean or sea. This is because of its ancient cenote and current open lagoon. It is believed to contain mystical vestiges of ancient Mayan civilizations.
There are many attractions, including cenote snorkeling, an eco-archaeological tour, a sea lion and manatee show, a spa, and more.
Regarding Scuba divers, they are aware of something else about Chankanaab. They know there is a reef right in front of the park. However, it is not one of the most visited reefs because it is not as impressive as others. There are only small coral heads in the sand.
However, few know that this Cozumel reef hides one of the few Cozumel wreck diving opportunities.
2. Felipe Xicoténcatl C-53: The Cozumel Shipwreck
The shipwreck of Chankanaab Cozumel is one of the few wrecks that can be visited in the island’s waters. The main explanation for this mystery is that, although different boats have sunk near Cozumel, they did at depths that are inaccessible for divers or they disappeared whipped away by tropical currents and storms. However, Felipe Xicotencatl C-53 does maintain a great appeal that makes it worthy of a wreck dive.
This Cozumel shipwreck lies at 24 meters / 78 feet deep in the park of Chankanaab Cozumel. The C-53 is 12 meters / 40 feet high, 56 meters / 184 feet long, and 10 meters / 33 feet wide. But the most interesting thing about it is that it is a submerged testimony of history.
3. The History of a Cozumel Shipwreck in Chankanaab
In 1943 the USS Scuffle was made in Tampa. Its goal was to serve as a minesweeper during the Second World War. Our ship fought in the Pacific and participated in important military operations. Even the USS Scuffle received five battle stars for its service at sea. In 1946 when the war was over, it was discharged from the US Navy.
The Mexican Navy bought the minesweeper in 1962 to convert it into an Admiral-class gunboat. From this moment its new name will be Felipe Xicotancatl C-53. The Cozumel Shipwreck was patrolling the Gulf of Mexico for 37 years. During that time, it fought against illegal drugs and weapons smuggling, and it participated in rescue missions as well.
When it was finally decommissioned in 1999, the Felipe Xicotancatl C-53 had still to fulfill one more mission: To join the other Cozumel underwater treasures to the delight of divers. On June 5th, 2000, it began its new task, this time, on the Caribbean Sea seabed.
Chankanaab Park was the place chosen for its sinking due to its easy access to divers and its great sand barrier. There, the Cozumel Shipwreck would not harm the beautiful corals reefs. Of course, the boat was conditioned for wreck diving and risks such as doors, cables, pipes, etc. were eliminated.
4. Felipe Xicotancatl C-53 Wreck Diving
The briefing is always important. Even more, when we are going to make this Cozumel wreck diving in Chankanaab. There are two reasons for that:
- Observing responsible wreck diving practices
- The Cozumel shipwreck peculiarities.
To enjoy this dive, it is not necessary to have technical diving skills. However, having the Advanced Openwater Course is very advisable. Although this is a diving spot adapted to enjoy this sport with all security guarantees, This Cozumel wreck diving requires good buoyancy control. If you want, you can improve your skills performing such PADI specialties as “Wreck Diver”, “Drift Diving” or “Peak Performance Buoyancy”.
The Felipe Xicotencatl C53 is located in Chankanaab park. To do to this Cozumel wreck dive, you will do a short tour on board of one of Dressel Divers’ boats. This fact is very convenient because they depart from the pier in front of the dive shop.
As soon as the boat reaches the diving spot, you will already be able to distinguish the shipwreck shape on the ocean floor. So, while you will be descending, you will be able to see almost the entire Cozumel wreck’s deck. The experience is worth it just for that but do not forget the strength of the current. When the divers will be approaching the Felipe Xicotencatl shipwreck, the current will decrease. Therefore, it will facilitate the exploration of it.
Of course, doing this Cozumel wreck dive you can visit both outsides and go inside overhead areas. They have easy open access to the surface, ideal for all kinds of recreational divers.
As this Cozumel shipwreck in Chankanaab has already been under the water for 15 years, marine life colonizes its recesses. As a result, this Cozumel wreck diving means visiting a historical testimony and enjoying a flourishing artificial reef blooming with life.
Do you need more reasons to come to visit the shipwreck in Chankanaab Cozumel? Contact us, and enjoy Cozumel wreck diving.