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Cooper River - Goose Creek SC

Cooper River is a boat accessible fresh water dive site, located in Goose Creek, SC. This dive site has an average rating of 3.89 out of 5 from 19 scuba divers. The maximum depth is 26-30ft/8-9m. The average visibility is under 5ft/2m.

Site in Goose Creek, SC to dive for megladon teeth. Not for everyone. Low viz, slight to strong currents and the occasional gator. But, if none of that bothers you, it’s a GREAT dive time.

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Aquadawnb - 11/10/2020 12:05 AM
Rating Added: 4
Great black water dive, found lots of fossilized teeth!
fletch944t - 5/29/2017 8:23 AM
Here are a couple of questions for all those who have been diving in the Cooper River. I’ve done some research and this question doesn’t seem to be answered anywhere.

When you are fossil diving in the Cooper River and you’re on the bottom, are you in mud or are you on gravel beds?

I realize that the terrain on the bottom of the river is most likely a mix of both terrains. However, do you find fossils in BOTH terrains? Are you more likely to find fossils/relics in one terrain as opposed to the other? Are river charters adept at putting you on one terrain as opposed to the other?

LatitudeAdjustment - 5/30/2017 7:38 AM
I won a trip there I have never used. WreckWench’s husband (Bill Routh - OffTheWallDiver) said I should go with him instead. He said there are certain dates he does this trip and that you are trained where to look and what to "feel" for before you enter. You might want to PM him for info and dates
fletch944t - 5/30/2017 2:51 PM
I’ve actually been looking at Captain Tom (McMillen) out of Charleston. Met a couple from Gainesville, GA that have done several charters with him and rave about how good he is. If Bill is with Off the Wall Dive Center at Lake Jocassee, I think a co-worker has been to the Cooper River with him. If it’s the same guy, he raves about how good HE is. Right now, I’m just in the dreaming stage. I need to finish up my AOW and get a few more dives under my belt before I’ll be ready for a blackwater dive.
Aquadawnb - 11/10/2020 12:08 AM
You generally find your fossils on the fossil beds. You can tell if you are on a fossil bed on radar. In between the fossil beds are a clay bottom, which is just that, mud. Diving in black water requires the right current on a fossil bed and requires more equipment such as flash lights, collection bag, and pick.
MDW - 2/04/2021 2:44 PM
So here’s how it works. The fossils are caked in the Marl (that really hard clay bottom) and are periodically washed free by the alternating tidal flow in the river. Once a Meg tooth (or whale earbone, or whatever) is out of the Marl, it will wash around and end up on one of the gravel piles. Each day (or more likely twice or 4 times a day) a loose fossil may end up in a different spot or on a different gravel pile until someone finds it or it gets banged around enough and breaks up.
MDW - 2/04/2021 2:51 PM
You may find some fossils still in the Marl, but they will be the ones that are still partially buried with just a part sticking out. If you are lucky and the tooth is almost ready to break free on its own, you may be able to chip it out, but if it’s more than about 10% still in there, you could spend your whole dive trying to get that one tooth out and still fail (or end up breaking it off, ruining the value). I recommend feeling around in the gravel instead for anything smooth and triangular. Also, precolonial (indigenous culture) artifacts will be mainly in the gravel as well, as it would never have been embedded in the prehistoric clay beds.
MDW - 2/04/2021 2:57 PM
Also, some advice on wildlife. There are some giant catfish in there. They like to hang out under logs and due to the tubidity of the water, you won’t see them until your face is like 6 inched from theirs. There are also a lot of gators on the river. They like to lay on top of logs in the sun (in winter) and are pretty lethargic, but I like to stay away from the shore (and them) as much as possible. And don’t forget to listen for Bubba flying overhead in his Bass boat before you surface.
nubs86 - 3/21/2016 5:43 PM
Is there anyone doing this dive soon?
madisondiver - 3/22/2016 3:58 PM
Four of us driving up from MS May 8th. Diving the 9th and 10th, returning the 11th. We split the cost of the boat about 100 a day per person. Two dives from boat and a shore dive. We can use another diver. We go as often as we can. Great charter.
nubs86 - 3/23/2016 10:34 AM
sounds good to me. keep me updated if anything changes
MESCUBADAN - 1/28/2015 3:08 PM
I went scuba diving here on 11/15/2014. Average viz: 11-15ft/3-5m. Water temp: 50-55°F/10-13°C.
Mako13 - 11/21/2014 11:16 AM
I went scuba diving here on 11/15/2014. Average viz: 11-15ft/3-5m. Water temp: Under 50°F/10°C.
diving for Meg teeth , not disappointed. Hats off to Capt. Tom and Charleston scuba. Great shop and boat.
southernman - 8/29/2014 11:37 AM
Rating Added: 4
Advanced dive but a lot of fun hunting for fossils.
wetwelder - 7/28/2014 12:58 PM
I’m looking for some divers to hit the cooper up with. Feel free to give me a call 843-276-3697 Thanks Brady
JohnnyGlenn - 6/29/2014 9:53 AM
I joined Dive Buddy to post this and hopefully help someone: Beginner divers BEWARE!!! There seemed little options to begin diving in the Charleston area and with the lure of artifacts and megalodon teeth; I decided to get some time in the Cooper River before heading out into the ocean. The charter guide had recommended using an inflatable buoy device before coming to the surface, which unfortunately for me, caused extreme panic as the darkness and current of the river had me on the EDGE of sanity already. Learning to use that device at 30+ft in complete darkness was a terrible idea and I cant stress enough how close I felt like it may be over after swallowing water, trying to purge, complete darkness, panic, etc. With training I knew I could inflate BC and shoot to the surface which I eventually did I knew that wasn’t good but better than the alternative of staying on the bottom....forever! The buoy experience was not all to blame this is an EXTREMELY spooky dive for many divers. The guide later told me of experienced divers & even instructors never wanting to dive there again! Testing one’s nerves on a first dive did not work for me. BEWARE of complete darkness, current, and possibly the worst experience of your life......besides that I did see a shrimp?! :)
I’m currently looking for a nearby quarry to gain experience in! One last note: For those that may be thinking oh probably not that bad or that he’s just easily spooked Even after the feelings of a near death experience caused by the panic I forced myself to go back down on the second dive and it did not get any better matter of fact I was on the bottom cussing myself for trying again!! :) A panicked mind does not make for a fun day!!
tardmaster - 6/29/2014 11:52 AM
What was you dive experience before you dove the cooper? That dive is for people that have blackwater and current experience. Not to mention that dive should be done with an advanced certification or higher. a diver should also have , in my opinion, of 50 open water dives or more in open water, boat diving experience and should be total aware that there is a possibility of contact with large aquatic creatures (gators). The cooper is very rewarding but it should only be attempted by someone who is ready for it.
JohnnyGlenn - 6/29/2014 12:21 PM
That was my first dive! My certification was 6 months or so prior and I told that to the charter guide but the only thing he recommended was using a buoy to help w/ not getting hit by a boat. That tidbit of info of course made me nervous to resurface w/out the buoy. Taking the regulator out of my mouth and trying to inflate a buoy was a bad idea!! Some of the experienced divers back on the boat said they would never take the regulator out of their mouth etc. The guide didn’t listen to my experience level and maybe I sounded confident...but diving the Cooper should as you stated be only for the very experienced or at least w/ specific training. While researching dive sites in SC today, I saw your prior post cautioning about the Cooper and so I wanted to reiterate the point of how bad it can be!
tardmaster - 6/29/2014 8:16 PM
that operator should be "outed" to at least warn other newbies. Heck even with me being a professional, i would be hesitant to use that operator. Please do not let that experience keep you from enjoying this sport. go have fun, get some experience and some confidence in your abilities and come back to the cooper. dive safe and feel free to contact me with any questions you may have in the future. welcome to the sport.
4thDimension - 6/30/2014 4:08 AM
"That was my first dive! My certification was 6 months or so prior..." How did you get certified without any dives?
JohnnyGlenn - 6/30/2014 6:20 AM
The first dive alone certification dives of course has a instuctor watching you etc. It had been 6 or 8 months from that certification but I thought it would be ok. It turned out to be too much for me trying to handle the current, the darkness, and ultimately my own mind. Not knowing where I was at in relation to the boat, hearing boats and therefore not knowing if it was safe to come up No instructor to rely on for any of that spells for a bad first dive alone. I just wanted to post some info on what happened to me to help others make sure they are prepared for this type of diving. I’ve learned recently that the water I swallowed during that buoy mistake and panic could have resulted in death even days later. Water in the lungs can cause inflammation and infection resulting in death. Not sure how often that happens but a quick shout out to new divers to make sure you’re diving with experienced divers and that will be hard to do in the Cooper River as you’d have to hold their hand or have a 100 Million Watt Spotlight to see them!
dalehall - 7/01/2014 6:46 AM
Sorry you had a bad experience.. That is definitely NOT a beginner’s dive. Hopefully it didn’t deter you from diving as a whole.. Find a local dive group and get some dives with folks in some nice clear open water. Maybe after some underwater time and experience with different conditions, you might want to go back and try again. I’ve done Cooper River and for me and my group, it was a BLAST!! We came back with handfuls of teeth and artifacts. But, all of us had some low viz dives to our name and I’ve had black water experience, so the low viz was no worry to us. Again, sorry you had a bad exprience and I hope you get to see what diving can be in the right place and right conditions.
DaveT - 11/07/2013 6:13 PM
Rating Added: 5
I love the Cooper! Dark water, odd currents, and TEETH! The mind plays tricks on you here and is your biggest nemisis while diving the Cooper.
Briankayaker - 10/06/2013 10:13 PM
Do you need a boat to get here or is there somewhere you can walk in from the shore? Also when is the best time to go? High tide? Low tide?
tardmaster - 10/07/2013 7:02 AM
It’s all boat dives with a guide to find the very productive spots. BUT.....I want to caution you about the cooper. It is black water diving with current. If you do not have a lot of experience with both of these aspect of diving i would not advise doing the cooper just yet. I do not know your log book to see if you have experience in these areas so please forgive me if you do, but i would not take customers there unless the could prove to me they had the experience. if you have any questions, i would more than happy to talk to you.
4thDimension - 10/09/2012 5:53 AM
Rating Added: 4
Cool Fossils!
kalidescoperain - 7/11/2009 7:01 AM
I got to see baby flounder, crawdady, megalodon teeth and assorted fossils, shad, and clams. Teresa and Calvin of Aquatic Pleasures Dive Center treated us like family, great memories. Really limited visibility, and the tides made things interesting.