Meet new scuba divers, maintain a virtual dive log, participate in our forum, share underwater photos, research dive sites and more. Members login here.

USCGC Spar (AR-305) - Morehead City NC

USCGC Spar (AR-305) is a boat accessible salt water dive site, located in Morehead City, NC. This dive site has an average rating of 4.32 out of 5 from 38 scuba divers. The maximum depth is 101-110ft/31-34m. The average visibility is 51-60ft/16-18m.

The USCGC SPAR was named after the original Coast Guard Women’s Reserve and is an acronym for the Coast Guard motto "Semper Paratus, Always Ready." Built at the Marine Iron and Shipbuilding Company in Duluth, MN, SPAR was launched November 2, 1943. After being commissioned on June 12, 1944, SPAR was subsequently stationed in Boston, MA in August 1944. Upon commissioning, SPAR was quickly directed to assist in the war effort by supporting anti-submarine warfare during convoy duty off the coast of Brazil.

In December, 1946 SPAR’s homeport changed to Wood’s Hole, MA. SPAR was moved again in June, 1957 to Bristol, RI.

In 1957 SPAR conducted oceanographic operations through the Northwest passage. The culmination of this assignment occurred when the Coast Guard Cutters STORIS, BRAMBLE, and SPAR became the first vessels to circumnavigate the North American continent. President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent his personal congratulations for this significant accomplishment. This impressive history was further added to in 1966 when SPAR logged over 17,000 miles and visited such ports as Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Germany, and Ireland while conducting an oceanographic charting expedition in the Northern Atlantic.

The cutter’s homeport changed again in April 1967 to Boston, MA where it and the cutter CACTUS traded captain and crew.

In March 1973 SPAR moved to its last homeport in South Portland, ME. SPAR went to Refresher Training in Little Creek, VA in 1981 and achieved the highest marks ever earned by an oceangoing buoy tender. In 1983, 1985, 1988, 1990, 1992, and 1995 SPAR again returned from Little Creek with outstanding marks and proudly displayed a gold "E’ with three gold stripes for nine consecutive overall "Excellent" scores in operations and seamanship training. Because of this, SPAR was recognized by Vice Admiral Paul Welling, Atlantic Area Commander, as "The cutter with the most gold" in the Atlantic Fleet.

SPAR was a class "C" buoy tender with an overall length of 180 feet, a beam of 37 feet, and a draft of 13 feet. The ship’s hull was constructed of welded steel and has a total displacement of 1025 tons. SPAR was a single screw driven vessel with a bow thruster. It is diesel-electric driven and generated 1200 horsepower for a maximum speed of 12 knots. The ship’s compliment consisted of forty-five enlisted members and eight officers.

The primary port calls for SPAR were Rockland, Maine and Southwest Harbor, Maine. Less frequent port calls are made to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Boston, Massachusetts, and Newport, Rhode Island.

SPAR was decommissioned on Friday, the twenty eighth of February 1997.

Diving Depths: 85-110 ft.
Current: Slight to moderate.
Visibility: 30-60 feet
Summer Temperature: High 70s
Points of Interest: Intact ocean going USCG buoy tender
Fish/Animal Life: An unusal number of angelfish and lots of other tropicals

Description:The Coast Guard Cutter Spar was sunk as a diver friendly wreck, the180ft long and 37ft wide Spar sits upright in 100ft of water and is completely intact. The Spar got its name from the US Coat Guard Motto “Semper Paratus, Always Ready” which was an appropriate name for the Coast Guard buoy tender commissioned June 1944. Making port at various locations up and down the Northeast US, the Spar was one of the most awarded vessels in the Coast Guard fleet and served in a variety missions during its 50 year service including submarine hunting and oceanography assignments. After being decommissioned in Feb of 1997, the ship was sunk as an artificial reef off the coast of Morehead City. Now home to Sand Tiger Sharks, the Spar is a very popular site since it sits upright and has lots of opportunities for penetration.

Dive Site Map

Click to Load Map


SuperChuK - 4 days 13 hours ago.
Rating Added: 5

One of the greatest dives I’ve ever been on! Tons of sandtiger sharks, incredible visibility, and almost no current!
Frankenfish - 9/30/2019 10:47 AM
Rating Added: 4
Great site
TheGraveyardDiver - 3/12/2019 10:17 PM
Rating Added: 4
Graveyard_Diver - 4/11/2018 1:24 AM
Rating Added: 5
JMH115 - 8/28/2016 11:14 AM
I went scuba diving here on 8/12/2016.
Good clarity
Stefanie - 3/15/2015 4:33 PM
I went scuba diving here on 7/6/2014.
Visibility was poor due to the recent hurricane
watergypsy - 10/22/2014 10:01 PM
Rating Added: 5
Lots of sharks!
Atctech - 11/07/2013 7:46 PM
Rating Added: 4
Great Wreck to explore.
Matt736 - 8/31/2013 7:34 PM
Rating Added: 4
This was the follow-on wreck for us to the U-352. Good wreck, lots to see, and had an nice mix of sealife.
kmasilamani - 12/31/2011 2:01 PM
Rating Added: 4
Good deep dive wreck,
meltonart - 12/24/2011 10:34 PM
Rating Added: 5
great dive