Gaafaru Island Maldives: (population 1,100) is one of the inhabited islands of Kaafu Atoll. Gaafaru is a large, elliptical reef with only a small inhabited island, Gaafaru, on the eastern end.
The channel to the north of Gaafaru, Kaashidhoo Kuda Kandu, has long been a shipping lane that has taken many ships who have veered off course into the channel’s hidden reefs.
These wreck sites are some of Gaafaru’s biggest attractions, with three of them, SS Seagull (1879), Elangen (1894), and Lady Christine (1974), being divable.
The SS Seagull is a 1,012 ton steamship that can be found in the shallow waters on the eastern edge of Gaafaru Atoll.
The anchor, deck ribs, and winch can be found 6 meters deep, resting on top of the reef, which has now engulfed the wreckage covering it in coral.
At the bottom of the reef, at a depth of about 30 meters, divers can find the giant boilers and stern.
The Lady Christine is an 863 ton iron survey vessel that wrecked while laying communication cables.
At low tide, the mast and bow can be seen above the water, with the main part of the wreck being scattered around the reef at a depth of 10 meters which drops to 55 meters.
This provides a protective environment for a variety of marine life, including nudibranchs, parrotfish, moray eels, pufferfish, grouper, and hawksbill turtles. The caves and overhangs in the reef at 30 meters are the home to nurse sharks, rays, and napoleon wrasse.
The Erlangen sits at about 50 meters depth on sand. The wreckage is largely intact, with some scattered remains found on the reef wall.
While none of the ships remain intact, the remains have plentiful coral growth with lots of tropical fish.
Dive trips are possible from locations on Gaafaru, but many visitors to the dive sites visit on live-aboard dive boats.