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Diving Million Dollar Point

Listed under Diving in Vanuatu.

Photo of Diving Million Dollar Point
Photo by flickr user mjwinoz
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Military wrecks are some of the most common and most interesting for diving because of both the dramatic historic events they bring you closer to and because all the gear just looks really fantastic, even more so when it’s been re-colonised by nature – a destructive force neutralized and all that. Million Dollar Point is actually a military dump rather than a wreck but the pros are the same, though in this case better than average. The title is supposed to reflect the cost (when it was dumped in the 40’s) of what was dumped here; the US Military at the end of WW2 basically built a ramp, loaded up their ambulances, forklifts, steamrollers, bulldozers, jeeps, tractors and trucks with everything they had – down to unopened crates of coca cola, put bricks onto the accelerators and drove them into the sea where it rests under about 35 metres of water in a deep channel right near the shore.

Naturally the local people, for whom the dump was probably worth a lot more than a million dollars, tried to salvage as much as they could, but most of it is still down there, covered in corals and home to fish.

The first thing you see on the dive is actually a boat that sunk on the flotsam it was trying to salvage in the 1970’s, but after that it’s just military hardware as far as the eye can see (which is about 15-20 metres), all crashed together so that sometimes it’s hard to tell what exactly you’re looking at. There is one other ship wrecked on the far channel side of the dump.

This is right by the S.S. President Coolidge and worth doing both a day and night dive of if you’re on Espirito Santo.

Written by  Nick Shaw.

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Million Dollar Point

At the end of the war, Americans dumped tonnes of their equipment, including jeeps, and planes into the shallow water off Million Dollar Point (so named after the amount of money the equipment was worth.). The assorted military paraphernalia has since grown over with a variety of colourful hard and soft corals and makes for very interesting diving. Divers can see six wheeled Studebakers, a range of army jeeps and trucks, bulldozers, tractors and steam rollers as well as the wrecks of two ships, sunk whole while attempting to salvage gear. Fish have now colonised the site's machinery and divers can swim in and outside the vehicles.

The waters off Vanuatu are warm enough to dive in all year round.

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