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Scuba Diving Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands
Dive Site: USS Lamson
Location: Bikini Atoll, Marshall Isles
Depth: 40 metres (130 feet) to top of the wreck, 44.5 metres (146 feet) to the deck, seabed at 48 metres (157 feet)
Visibility: 20 - 25 metres (65 - 80 feet)
Another casualty from the A-bomb tests at Bikini Atoll, the USS Lamson is a destroyer and one of the shallower (!) Bikini wrecks. As you descend to the stern of the wreck you soon see her outlined clearly against the white sand seabed. The first thing you notice are the depth charge racks - three in total - still full of live depth charges. Although the superstructure is smashed amidships the wreck is still very intact otherwise.
5" guns and torpedoes were her main armament and when you reach the torpedo tubes you can see the live "fish" waiting for deployment. One of the tube loading hatches is open and twin counter-rotating props can be seen on the fish. A large fan coral grows on the very end of one of the 5" gun barrels and when silhouetted against the sun from above one can easily imagine the gun going off. The telegraph is virtually intact and a diver shining a red light through it from the rear makes an amazing photograph. A large debris field is apparent to the side of the wreck and we could see grey reef sharks below us. The Lamson is an extremely photogenic wreck so don't forget your camera. As always with Bikini this is an air dive but with accelerated deco at 10 metres on 74% nitrox.
Martin Frankcom, BSAC Advanced Instructor
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