“ The intact, upright Prince Albert Wreck lying at our doorstep makes every night a must-dive.” - RDAdelman
“Did my very 1st night dive on the Prince Albert!” - SJarrell
“Saw amazing octopus on every night dive.” - KTKatsaras
“My first night dive last night on the Prince Albert!.” - BRPecquet
“May the PA be there forever... and may I always be able to continue to dive.” - EOlson
“Some of the best diving that I ever had was at Coco View and on the Prince Albert. What a great resort. Super diving, food and staff.” - DBradley
“Certified my first student on that wreck!” - TCornell
“a photographers dream... many a picture has been taken on this guy....” - MSJones
“Did my first Solo night dive on this wreck, good times!!! ”
Dive Roatan’s Prince Albert Wreck
The Prince Albert, a 140 foot tanker, was intentionally sunk in 1985, right in the “Front Yard”. Originally owned by Nicaraguans, the tanker was used to transport Nicaragua war refugees to Roatan, where it was eventually stripped of valuables and left partially submerged.
Seeing the opportunity to turn this hazard into a new diving site for the island and his guests, Bill Evans, CoCo View’s founder, secured the necessary government permission to transport, and with the help of Doc Radawski, sink the tanker in front of the resort.
Currently sitting upright in 65 feet of water, the tanker is in remarkably good shape, with many years of algae and soft coral growth covering its large hull. Many fish species also call the cavernous channels and hollows of the tanker home.
Experience this wreck as a drop-off dive from the boat on your way home, or as a shore dive directly off our beach. The wreck of the Prince Albert is also a very popular Roatan night dive.
A Short History of the Prince Albert Shipwreck
The Prince Albert began life as a US Navy YOG. (Yard Oiler Gasoline, a tanker). Unfortunately, her hull number is unknown.
The ship, at the time named the “Maas”, arrived in French Harbour, Roatan from Nicaragua shortly after the Somoza regime fell to the Sandinistas. The 165’ “Maas” was loaded with refugees, including Roatan jewelry maker and one-time CCV DM Enrique Goodman.
After a few short years the ship fell into disrepair. She was stripped of functional machinery and tied up to the mangroves near the French Harbour Yacht Club docks.
By 1984 local businessmen began to worry about the possibility of the abandoned ship being tossed ashore by a storm. One of the businessmen, Albert Jackson, approached Coco View’s founders Bill Evans and Calvin Bodden. He told them “If you want that hulk for a dive site, you can have it. Otherwise I’m going to tow it out to sea and sink it in 6000 feet of water where it won’t be a problem for anyone”.
In consideration of his generosity the "Maas" was renamed the "Prince Albert", as it is best known today.
Calvin Bodden supervised the final stripping and clean up of the hull. Square holes were cut in her main deck to help the air escape as she sank, hopefully minimizing the chances of her rolling over on her side, or worse – turning upside down!
Doc Radawski suggested sinking her in the CoCo View Channel and ultimately chose the exact spot.
Captain Bob McNab towed her out of Old French Harbour. After the ship cleared the sea buoy, he turned the tow over to the boat’s other captain. Unfortunately when the towboat got near the Coco View Channel, the tow line broke! Untethered, the ship ran aground on the reef in front of Fantasy Island, high and dry! She remained in that position for several weeks.
On February 11, 1985, a sunny Sunday morning at high tide Captain Jerry Hynds successfully pulled the stranded ship off the reef. He then positioned her in Coco View Channel and she was four point anchored in place. Lastly, her pumps were removed.
Within thirty minutes, at 12:20 pm, she sank stern first. The Prince Albert hit first on her rudder skeg, bending it. The stern bounced only about 3 feet east of the planned stakeout centerline before settling in. The bow at the keel rested in 40 feet of water, the stern in 65 feet.