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CONSERVING NATURE'S LITTLE SECRETS SINCE 1961

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Dead Chest National Park &

RMS Rhone Marine Park

British Virgin Islands

History

Submerged in approximately 20 to 80 feet of water, the RMS Rhone lies in Lee Bay off Salt Island. The Marine Park extends to the west to include the island of Dead Chest, with additional dive sites such as the underwater pinnacles and ledges at Blonde Rock, the colourful canyons of Painted Walls, the coral encrusted tunnels and cave at Rhone Reef.

The anchor of the RMS Rhone lies further northwest of Salt Island at Great Harbour on Peter Island, where it was abandoned by the RMS Rhone in 55ft of water.

The wreck itself is encrusted with marine organisms, including calcareous algae, sponges, and coral, whilst providing shelter for a large variety of inquisitive reef fish.

The Wreck of the RMS Rhone is the most popular dive site in the BVI, as it is an easily accessible wreck dive with a legendary history. Sunk by a hurricane in 1867, the wreck of the Royal Mail Steamer Rhone lies in two main parts at depths between 20 and 80 feet.  The vessel was originally 310 feet long and 40 feet wide, weighing 2,738 gross registered tons.  Much of it is still intact and visible, including the bow section, boilers, condenser, engines and prop shaft, parts of  the rigging and the propeller.

Anchoring and fishing are strictly prohibited within the Marine Park, sailors must use the mooring buoys provided and obtain a NPT mooring permit.  

Park Information

Established: 1980

Area: 800 acres

(Including Dead Chest Island)

Photos

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