The Kamloops Site

Depth Range:
             180 feet at the top of the Stern to 265 feet below the Bow

The Kamloops is located at the northeast end of Todd Harbor off Kamloops Point within 100 yards of shore.  It lies roughly east-west.  There are usually two submerged floats on the wreck.  These floats and lines are not maintained by the NPS so their condition varies from year to year.  They are typically 15 feet below the surface and can usually be seen from the surface if you are directly over them.  The one closest to shore is usually attached to the rail at the forward top corner of the stern cabins at a depth of about 190 feet.  The one farthest from shore is usually attached to the top of the bow cabins at a depth of about 240 feet.  This wreck is for tech diving only and fairly heavy tech diving at that.

The Kamloops lies on its starboard side with the stern closest to shore at the foot of a steep wall that is the shore line of Kamloops point and shoal.  The shallowest point on the wreck is the rail on the port side of the stern at a depth of about 180' although you cannot see much on a stern dive without hitting at least 200'.   The bow and stern are two separate dives and for time-sake it is best to use the bow line for bow dives and stern line for stern dives.  The lake bottom under the wreck is strewn with broken bales of pipe which make interesting patterns to divers experiencing narcosis from the depth.  The stern is more intact and has more rooms to visit.  You can swim around the stern cabins poking your head into the crew quarters, mess, and galley, and peer down the engine room and officers' mess skylights without penetrating the wreck.  The angle of the wreck on its side makes mental orientation on penetrations a bit confusing and is really best done on mixed gas diving.  The running lights and a couple engine gauges were stolen by two infamous wreck rapers in the late 1970's.  However, some of the maritime artifacts that you rarely see on wrecks dived heavily by the wreck rapers of the 1970's are still visible on the Kamloops, including the beautiful ship's emergency helm ( wheel) and a ship's telegraph on the stern.  After discovering the Kamloops in 1977, we chained the wheel in place, and it still remains there today for you to see.  Be sensitive that the Kamloops is the site of a terrible maritime tragedy and there are still human remains on this wreck.  Dive with respect and please avoid disturbing them in any way.

The bottom around the bow is approximately 265' and is a heavy tech dive.  The bow is buried in the bottom mud up to the center line of the ship and well past the anchor pockets.  It appears that the Kamloops sank bow first and dived into the bottom silt.  The cargo holds are still full of the varied freight including wire fencing, 1928 high-top shoes, pipe, candy life-savers (paper wrappers), and crates of Honey Bee Molasses.  The cargo holds are at least as interesting as the bow cabins on this wreck.  The king-posts and loading booms and winches are impressive.  The pilot house was apparently torn off when the ship sank and the deck machinery is buried.  I've seen a very old photograph that shows men fishing the pilot house roof out of shallow water off Green Isle the year after the Kamloops sank, so it is doubtful that much remains of the pilot house anywhere.  The door to the captain's quarters is open, but is too narrow to penetrate with tech diving gear.   If you only have time for one or two dives, diving the stern is really the better choice from a perspective of what there is to see, the allowable bottom time, and the difficulty of the dive.

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