Most of wrecks in the Caribbean may have been intentionally sunk or re-located in order to create marine habitats, artificial reefs or just for a fun spot for divers to explore. However due to the tragedy involved with the small population of the twin island federation of St.Kitts & Nevis this wreck is considered to be a “real” wreck dive.
The close relations between people lost then and the people now (some 40 years later) continues to emanate a strong sentimental value of this (to be officially established) memorial site. We at Scuba Safaris ask divers to share the same up most respect as we do when visiting this site.
The M/V Christena, a passenger ferryboat, sunk on August 1st, 1970 in the channel between the islands of St Kitts and Nevis. The ferryboat departed from Bassettere, St Kitts on its usual run between the islands. Designed to carry 180 passengers, she was overloaded with over 300. About half way across the way to Nevis, the captain realized water coming in and turned her sharply toward shore in an effort to run her aground. The boat capsized, and only 91 persons survived.
M/V Christena now lies at a depth of 73 feet close to the “Narrows”, the top reaching about 50ft from the surface. The wreck sitting upright on a sandy ocean floor and is now the home to barracuda, stingrays, moray eels, turtles, lobsters, and an abundance of soft & hard corals, crinoids and schools of fish.
For More Information: Whitman Browne's book "The Christena Disaster Revisited: A Caribbean Story." Jeffrey Phipps’s documentary film “MV Christena 40 years later” (2011)