SCUBA diving is an extremely popular sport, enjoyed by many who are looking for some adventure in their lives. There is something about being surrounded by the calm, (sometimes) warmth and quiet of the gentle waters that usually offer a relaxing escape to the crazy world at the surface. However, for some, the steady, shallow waters are just not enough. Dive enthusiasts will do anything for their next shot of adrenaline and shallow dives just don’t cut it. There is nothing more exciting than being in places that other divers won’t visit due to the harsh currents, narrow spaces and deepest depths. Here are the most exhilarating, challenging and most of all dangerous dive sites in the world. These dive sites are not for the faint-hearted!

Here are the Top 10 Most Dangerous Dive Sites in The World

  1. Egypt’s Blue Hole, Dahab and Sinai, Egypt
    Probably the most dangerous dive site in the world is located in Egypt. Known to most as the ‘Diver’s Cemetery’ this unbelievable attraction is known for ‘the arch’ which is a passage way to open waters, located approximately 56m below the surface. The recommended depth for any scuba diver is 30m. When a diver gets that deep, nitrogen narcosis begins to set in which can alter the diver’s judgment, rendering them unable to make fast and good decisions. Nitrogen narcosis can cause disorientation and even a loss of consciousness. Unfortunately for some, this increase of nitrogen bubbles within the blood stream can mean that the diver can miss the opening of ‘the arch’ and continue descending to their death. Approximately 150 divers have lost their lives at this location, over the past 15 years.
  2. Blue Hole, Lighthouse Reef, Belize
    Known as one for the bucket list, the blue sink hole is identifiable by its contrasting blue colors, showing the deepest, darkest blue alongside the lighter, shallower colors. The blue hole measures nearly 305m across and 124m down into the earth. Divers come from far and wide to experience this wonder. Descending the first 30m mostly consist of sheer walls on all sides, once you pass this, the walls turn to stalactite formations made of limestone. If you are an inexperienced diver, this sheer drop off can be extremely disorientating, causing them to descend at an even faster rate.
  3. The Shaft Sinkhole, Mount Gambier, Australia
    This incredible dive site is full of cave diving. The shaft sinkhole might just be the most dangerous cave dive on the planet. At the beginning of this dive, the diver must take off their equipment in order to get through a man hole which is just too small to accommodate both them and their equipment. Once their equipment is passed through to them, they can begin their dive through a series of extremely dark and dangerous caves. A low air consumption is essential for this dive as divers can get lost or simply do not save enough air for the journey back to the surface. Unfortunately, many divers have lost their lives due to this reason.
  4. Cenote Esqueleto, The Temple of Doom, Tulum, Mexico
    Aptly known by its nickname, ‘The Temple of Doom,’ the Cenote Esqueleto located in Mexico can be dangerous from the very onset. Once the divers have jumped in, they are advised to stay within the sunlit areas as it can get extremely dark in places. The combination of dark passageways and intricate tunnels, can cause divers to become disorientated and lost. Getting lost is the main reason for many of the deaths at this dive site. Divers lose their way and run out of air, rendering them helpless.
  5. Coco’s Island, Costa Rica
    Coco’s island is one of the most remote dive sites in the world. Located approximately 340 miles off the Pacific Coast of the country, it usually takes over 35 hours to reach this prime location by boat. However, what makes this destination even more dangerous is the sheer amount of sharks found in the waters around this dive site. The usual marine life found in this area includes; white top reef sharks, giant manta rays, hammerhead sharks, dolphins and sea turtles.
  6. Samaesan Hole, Samaesan Bay, Thailand
    This incredible hole penetrates deep into the earth at around 85m deep. With its incredibly strong currents, if you are not well prepared for this dive, then it can take some divers severely off course. In addition to these strong currents, a surprising site are the unexploded bombs. The Samaesian hole is a former military dumping ground, providing a unique but dangerous experience for any diver.
  7. Jacob’s Well, Wimberley Texas
    Jacob’s Well is located in the south west of Austin Texas and merely seems like an average swimming hole. However, once you get below the surface, a whole different world opens up. Jacob’s Well consists of chambers of caves, the first two a suitable for most divers however, once you approach the third chamber, the dive begins to get a little harder. Not only does this chamber consists of winding narrow pathways, the cave is full of gravel and silt, which can be detrimental to the diver. Once these small particles get disturbed, it can become very difficult to see causing divers to become disorientated, panic and therefore use up their air at a much faster rate than usual. Over 8 people have tragically lost their lives in these dark and dangerous chambers.
  8. Eagle’s Nest Sinkhole, Weeki Wachee, Florida
    Located in the western area of Weeki Wachee, this dangerous dive site is around 315m deep which can make it hard for even the most skilled of divers. The deeper you go, the more likely nitrogen narcosis will set in causing disorientating. Once the diver becomes disorientated, this can prevent them from checking their depth gauge as well as their air consumption, meaning that they could run out of air and not surface in time. This location has claimed the lives of many divers, who enjoy pushing the limits.
  9. German U Boat, New Jersey
    This incredible world war II relic, discovered in 1991, is located approximately 73m below the surface, which is reaching extremely dangerous depths for any diver. 3 members of the dive group who discovered the U-869 tragically died whilst returning to the site soon after it was found. The mixture of the cold water and the dangerously strong currents can prove perilous for most divers out there.
  10. Devil’s Caves, Ginnie Springs Florida
    The Devil’s Caves is a popular dive site for many and is located approximately 35 miles off the northwest of Gainsville, Florida. The temperature at this incredible cave dive site is warm all year round. The Devils caves consist of a network of caves systems named, ‘Little Devil’, ‘Devil’s Eye’ and ‘Devil’s Ear’. These caves happen to be the most dangerous sites in the whole springs. At the opening of the ‘Devil’s Ear’ you find a vortex which is certain to move your equipment around.

Have you got dived any of these dive sites?  Are they really that dangerous?  Let us know in the comments below.

25 COMMENTS

  1. Yet if one looks at the stats, more divers have perished and continue to die while diving in the very safe waters off Key Largo than any of the spots in your top 10 list. Same with Cayman Island. Far more people die diving in the safe waters of Cayman than in cold, dark waters of New Jersey.

    • The problem here isn’t the site being a dangerous dive, it is the sheer amounts of speedy one time dive lessons for tourists. Too many people who don’t know and/or respect diving and make poor decisions for lack of paying attention.

      • Righhht Crysta…… oh wait no not at all. Never heard of speedy one time divers using rebreathers in a cave dive and that’s what you need for a few of these spots. So no, saving air in eagles nest has never been a problem. The problems at those depths don’t even have anything to do with nitrogen narcosis! Like what are you people talking about? You’re diving Heliox at these depths! The problem is when you’re at that depth in say eagles nest where the caves average 340′ (no idea where you’re getting 300 meters) is it just takes a few seconds of quick thrashing around to find something or over exertion to build up enough C02 to knock you unconscious. And don’t mention the one father and son who died there, they didn’t even have dive certs so they were just morons not divers.

  2. I was surprised not to see Aliwal shoal on the list of most dangerous.
    I have seen many lives taken there.

  3. It’s now the dive sites that are dangerous, it’s the divers diving them that are STUPID (if they get into trouble).

    Dive within your limits, and use your brain, and all those site are fine for people able to dive them within their limits.

  4. This has to be near the top of stupid articles ever produced. Full of conjecture, paranoia, fatalism and hysteria, while at the same time lacking any facts.

    The author would be better served writing recipes and Deeperblue, as an advocate of diving, has shown themselves to be looking only for words to fill out a column.

  5. it’s not the dives that are dangerous – it’s the muppets that think it’s cool to do a technical dive, with a recreational mine set, with recreatioanl equipment and inadequate training, then wonder why they’re in trouble when something unforeseen happens.

  6. Jacob’s Well is a closed site, unlike the other sites mentioned here. It does not consist of four “chambers,” contrary to popular belief, and no part of Jacob’s Well is suitable for open water divers. No cave trained divers have ever perished in this system. To find more information, visit the website of the permitted team that is actively exploring it:

    http://www.jwep.org

  7. Oh, Jennifer. I don’t wish to be rude, but don’t you think that, before writing about diving, it would be a good idea to learn something about both writing and diving? Badly written and factually incorrect, your article is drivel of the worst kind. I’ve done several if these dives and – conducted with the right training and equipment – they are not especially challenging, let alone dangerous.

  8. I dived 7 from the 10, and with 25 years of diving experience I can say that these divesites are definitely not the most dangerous on the planet. The high mortality of these sites is the fact thay they are accessible to the unexperienced. Easy access to overhead environment or great depth in combination with the untrained diver is what makes these sites dangerous.

  9. I run a dive operation in Dahab and can verify that many, many idiots have killed themselves trying to do ‘The Arch’ on a single tank of air, while it’s not actually suicidal, it is incredibly stupid and has a high risk of things going wrong for many reasons. Our centre dives at the Blue Hole many times a week (starting at The Bells, just to the north) and in over 15 years working here we have never had an accident and certainly not a death there.
    It’s not the dive site that’s dangerous as there are no real currents, it’s bad diving practices and stupidity that kills people. But at least it makes Dahab (in) famous (if for the wrong reasons)

    • Totally agree, having worked in and dived the area over the past 50 years. By the way, I think this article albeit perhaps well intended is more like yellow sensationalist journalism working without facts or proper research.

  10. I’ve been in #8 a few times to depths of nearly 300 feet and in #10 many times. The sites are dangerous if you are not prepared. The risks are greater but so are the rewards and if you arm yourself with training, experience, and proper equipment you reduce the risks. And remember to use your most important piece of equipment, those 3 pounds of grey matter tucked between your ears.

  11. Obviously when you are inexperienced and dive outside your limits …. you will put yourself in a situation that has a good chance to go wrong. You toss cave dives, deep dives and large amounts of sharks into the mix and you get big trouble from someone with a lack of experience in those situations.

    I have been to Coco’s Island, Costa Rica and it was one of the best dive experiences of my life. I did not find it dangerous at all. Just because there are 100’s of sharks in the water does not mean it is dangerous. However, you need to have that experience to remain safe in those environments. Know your limits and don’t do stupid stuff in the water that put you or your dive professional in danger.

  12. I have been to 6 of the 10 and 4 of those many times. I will say Jacobs Well is not a public dive site. Hasn’t been in quite some time. So I’m not sure classifying it here is appropriate. It’s like ranking public highways and then adding in a private driveway because the UPS man crashed his truck into the homeowners car while navigating around their circular drive.

    It would have been proper to say these dive sites which have existed for millions of years only became dangerous when people started diving them. Training, training and more training. It’s what separates stupid from living.

  13. I had second thoughts if I should post this or not, but then I decided I should do this. Jennifer this is a sincere advice..if you want to be a better writer, I think you should stop copying and re- arranging articles published a year ago. This is your second (plagiarized) article which I have come across ( the previous one being 10 health benefits of diving ).
    I hope you take this advice, its just too sad when I see blatant copy paste on a platform such as this.

  14. The Blue HOle has a perfectly acceptable risk factor. Absolutely worth the Stalactites and large Reef Sharks. Abalone free diving in No. CAL is far more dangerous.
    Unlike spearfishing, when you Ab dive, you enter the food chain! The lack of physical fitness, and/or the complete lack of any training required to dive, and you get an average of 5 deaths in a short 6 month season every year . That’s dangerous.

  15. Give Jennifer a break and plus like u said u posted it ubshould have done your due dilegence Singh . THE DIVE SITES ALL SOUND INTERESTING … IF SHE COPY AND PASTED WELL SHE HAD TOO LOOK FOR THE INFORMATION AND GATHER AT LEAST .. If she gets paid to do it ,agreed deliver a relevant and more meaningful and original product.

  16. 150 deaths in 15 years? That’s insane, I really want to dive Egypt’s Blue Hole now, but I feel like I would be the guy to “miss the arch,” I always had trouble finding the right hole…

    Cool article, I’ll definitely be adding some of these to my list of “To Dives.”

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