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Jackson is a boat accessible salt water dive site, located at 3917 S. Croatan Hwy., Nags Head, NC 27959. This dive site has an average rating of 3.40 out of 5 from 5 scuba divers. The maximum depth is 71-80ft/22-24m.

"U.S. Coast Guard Cutter, 241 tons, 125 ft long, sunk in the great hurricane of 1944, on the 14th, with a loss of 21 men. She is located approximately 8 miles NE from Oregon Inlet and lies in 80ft of water. The stern is broken from the bow with a separation of 80ft. The stern sits upright with all sections exposed to the sea. The sand which had previously covered most of the wreck has been moved off exposing many features that had been previously covered. The bow is sitting with a list to the starboard at 40 degrees the port side sea anchor is visible which still in it’s hawser."

Dive Report - 2007

Our destination was the wreck of the USCG Cutter "Jackson," a rescue ship that sank during the great hurricane of 1944, approximately 15 KM east of Oregon Inlet. Built in 1927, the Jackson (WSC-142) was 38 M long, had a beam of 8 M and displaced 232 metric tons. She and the Bedloe (another cutter of the same class) were dispatched on September 14, 1944 to rescue the George Ade, a liberty ship that was torpedoed by the U-518. Although the crews of both cutters were experienced seamen, the massive power of the hurricane proved too much for each vessel, sinking both only a few miles and hours apart from one another. Each vessel looked to the other for rescue, not realizing both had been lost. To this day, the twin sinking remains one of the USCGs worst losses, with 47 men giving their lives to the sea in an attempt to aid others. It was fitting we visited the wreck on Memorial Day, remembering the sacrifice made by these heroes. Here’s a picture of the Jackson circa 1935:

By 10:00 AM the Go Between had hooked the wreck and we proceeded to get ready. Unfortunately, sea conditions had already claimed two of our divers, neither appeared “well enough” to dive. The wind and the position of the boat abeam to the swell didn’t help, creating a significant rocking motion for the next 3 HRS as we sat hooked to the wreck. My regular dive buddy "Bobby" couldn’t make this trip, so I was paired up with a “new” diver named “Tiffany,” who had only dived with her dad previously and never wore a wetsuit (ULP!). She looked a little confused by my tech kit and dry suit, but after a short chat we worked things out.

I was kitted up and in the water first, hanging on the surface waiting. Shortly after, Tiffany entered without her weight belt making it somewhat difficult to descend, so (like a soldier) she climbed back out, put it on and came in a second time. We descended to the hang bar in about 3 M of cloudy water and did a quick once-over, followed by descending to the wreck some 25 M below. Visibility increased to 6 M at the thermocline, with a bottom temperature of 13 C. I was diving 36% EAN in a 19 L low pressure steel single while Tiffany was diving air in an aluminum 12 L.

The Jackson is broken in two sections, the bow and stern, with the stern making up most of the wreck. The dive master had hooked the bow and ran a wreck reel to the stern. When we arrived at the hook, I wrapped my own reel and started off on a quick tour of the bow. To her credit, Tiffany stuck at my 4 o’clock high position and stayed about 2 M off the bottom. Although she did a lot of arm waving, I’d say she did darn GOOD for the first time in a 7 mm wetsuit. We transitioned to the stern shortly after and began looking around. Soon we made it to the superstructure which provided about 7 M of relief above the sand. The upper house (see picture) appears to be missing, but the remainder of the cabin is at least somewhat intact. Shells, coral and sea life abound on the wreck, making it visually exciting to look at. I’ll bet a night dive here would be very colorful. A few minutes later I checked Tiffany’s air and found (to my shock) only 60 BAR left in her tank. We beat a quick retreat with the reel, during which (in my haste) I looped the spindle. I didn’t catch it immediately and it continued to work so we pushed ahead to the hook and ascended after 20 minutes of BT. A quick 3 minute stop later and Tiffany surfaced with just under 30 BAR remaining (whew!).

Web site for videos of various wreck sites in the area-

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CentralPADiver - 8/13/2019 12:10 PM
I went scuba diving here on 8/7/2019. Average viz: 16-20ft/5-6m. Water temp: 61-65°F/16-18°C.
Chartered with Roanoke Island Outfitters. Little of the wreck is left, not a whole lot to look at. Still an interesting dive with the wreck in two pieces. The bow and stern are maybe 20 feet apart. I would recommend that divers run a wreck reel and have a flashlight with them, as visibility can become reduced, making navigation difficult.
TooTanked - 7/23/2017 12:35 AM
I went scuba diving here on 6/23/2016. Average viz: 5-10ft/2-3m.
wgr21 - 6/06/2016 7:30 PM
I went scuba diving here on 6/6/2016. Average viz: 31-35ft/9-11m. Water temp: 50-55°F/10-13°C.
divingbear - 9/12/2014 4:01 PM
I went scuba diving here on 9/12/2014. Average viz: 16-20ft/5-6m. Water temp: 66-70°F/19-21°C.
Found a Nikon d7100 w/ housing lost over 2 months ago, returned to owner through the dive shop