About the California Wreck Divers

Greetings, and welcome to the California Wreck Divers’ website. We would like to take this opportunity to tell you about the California Wreck Divers and share a little about wreck diving.

To most people, "wreck diving" brings visions of Spanish gold among piles of coral encrusted cannon. In Southern California we have a vast shortage of Spanish gold, coral, and cannon, but we do have some exciting and varied wreck diving. Our local shipwrecks run the gamut from modern freighters and fishing boats, to majestic square-riggers and side-wheel steamers. Water conditions on the wrecks range from calm, protected areas to white-water diving with a heavy surge. Visibility ranges from 0 to 100 feet, and depth from the shore to 150 feet or more. 

Wreck diving has something for every kind of diver. For the game diver, the wrecks are found with an abundance with fish of all kinds as they make excellent havens for marine life. For the photographer and sightseer, a wreck has countless exciting attractions. Last, but far from least, shipwrecks offer the diver an exciting look into the maritime past when ship fittings were not only functional, but highly decorative and ornate as well. Countless hours of painstaking work have restored and refurbished many shipwreck relics, providing countless opportunities to exhibit and display interesting and useful items.

California Wreck Divers was founded in the spring of 1971 in order to provide greater opportunity for the members to explore California shipwrecks and to systematically research and seek out wrecks. To further the last objective, we are incorporated as a not-for-profit organization with the State of California. The club maintains listings and information about wrecks, including wrecks known to lie in diveable waters. As a member of CWD, you'll receive a patch, membership card, access to our research records,  priority booking on our charters and entry/voting privileges in our annual competition.  As for as diving opportunities are concerned, we try to run one dive activity a month (both boat and occasional beach dives). Our dive trips take us to the coasts and islands from Point Conception to the Mexican border. Click here to see our schedule of meetings, events and dives.

Club Organization

California Wreck Divers has a structural organization different from most other clubs. Recognizing that the work necessary for the smooth running of any organization is usually performed by a small group, the membership of our club is divided into Full and Associate members. A diver new to the club first joins as an Associate Member. The requirements for joining are simple: you must be at least 18. Total fees to join are $40, which includes the club patch, membership card, priority booking on boat dives, and our newsletter, the Porthole. Renewal fees are just $35 ($10 off for those wishing to receive the Porthole via our website/e-mail).

If after being around the club and its members for awhile, an Associate member may wish to become more active in the work of the club and they may apply for Full Membership. The Full Members of the club are the voting body or board of directors which control, direct, and run the activities of the club. In addition to the monthly general meeting which is open to anyone, Full Members also attend monthly business meetings. 

Regardless of membership level, each one of us is proud to be a part of the California Wreck Divers and we invite you to join us and explore the fascinating and thrilling experience of wreck diving.

If you would like to learn more or have a particular question about the California Wreck Divers or shipwrecks in Southern California, we invite you to visit our Guest Page and submit your question or inquiry.