RMS Rhone is the most popular diving spot in all of British Virgin Islands that encapsulates one of the most popular divable shipwrecks in the world, the RMS Rhone.
This was a ship belonging to Royal Mail Steam Packet Company, used to transport mail and passengers from and to the Caribbean. What made it stand out among other ships was its features, it had both sail and steam power.
Robert F. Wooley, the captain of the RMS Rhone, was forced to avoid St. Thomas – the designated coaling station – as this area was affected by a yellow fever epidemic . He anchored near Peter Island, in Great Harbor, but on 29th October 1867 things will take a turn for the worst. Bad weather was ahead so the captain decided to up the anchor and sail between Salt and Peter Island to avoid hitting the rocks. A hurricane hit the ship once and Wooley went outside to inspect the weather and was washed overboard. Rhone started to head for the rocks and soon met its end near Black Rock Point, along with its 123 passengers.
This diving site was also featured in the 1977 movie The Deep, featuring Nick Nolte and Jacqueline Bisset, a movie portraying the consequences this couple has to face after discovering a deadly wreck.
A 310 ft long and 40 ft wide wreck, split in two, covered in orange cup corals and sponges will greet you when you dive these picturesque and adventurous waters. The deck, the propeller and the steam engine are all almost intact so you won’t see just a rotting structure.
A barracuda funnily nicknamed Fang, turtles, stingrays, angelfish, yellowtail snappers, sennets, jacks, grunts, all sorts of colorful fish will accompany you in your swim and hide in even the smallest crevices available.
In order to explore the whole scenery the RMS Rhone has to offer you will need at least two decent dives so don’t leave this site for the last couple of hours of your trip, you will regret not exploring more of its beauties.
Photo credit for the 3 images on this page: Mickael Taillier (Sail Caribbean Divers)