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You've seen the awe-inspiring views of the Atlantic Ocean while standing in the white sand of North Myrtle Beach or sitting on your private balcony at North Beach Plantation. But there's a lot more beauty beneath the ocean's surface just waiting to be explored.
Of all the watersports options you can try during your North Myrtle Beach vacation, only scuba diving takes you to the depths of the sea to discover an amazing underwater world. Take private lessons in a training pool before making your big splash in the ocean.
Whether you are an experienced diver or a newcomer to the sport, Coastal Scuba in North Myrtle Beach is the place to go to on the Grand Strand for training, certification and trips to the most amazing shipwrecks and artificial reefs off the Carolinas coast.
Coastal Scuba offers a wide variety of courses, from the basic Discover Scuba adventure that allows you to learn the skills in the safe and calm waters of the on-site swimming pool. From ages 8 and up, trainees can learn how to operate the equipment, and how to submerge and explore underwater under the close supervision of experienced instructors.
More advanced courses include the Open Water Scuba Diver (ages 16 and up) and the Junior Scuba Diver (ages 10-15). This PADI (Professional Association of Dive Instructors) approved course structure allows aspiring divers to cover the basics in a 2 1/2-hour session on Friday and Saturday and be ready go diving by the end of the class Sunday.
Private instruction is also available for more experienced divers, such as advanced courses in rescue, advanced open water and master diver classes. Learn underwater navigation, deep-sea diving, wreck and reef diving and other scuba disciplines. Students must have their PADI certification for advanced classes, which range from $45 to $250. For those already certified, you can rent gear
Once you've been trained and you are suited up for your first open-water dive, prepare to be amazed. The offshore dive sites include Civil War-era ships that have sank over the years, as well as more modern ships and tugs that have been used to serve as artificial reef. There are more than 15 dive sites offering a variety of beautiful sea life and the opportunity to uncover free souvenirs from your scuba experience.
Among the most popular shipwrecks available for scuba tours are the Sherman, a Civil War blockade-runner that yields interesting artifacts and relics, as well as the City of Houston, a freighter carrying Christmas gifts and goods that sank off the South Carolina coast. Artificial reefs include the Bill Perry Reef, one of the largest on the East Coast that features a wide array of tropical fish and sea turtles.
Divers can go out on three different vessels operated by Coastal Scuba. The Safari IV is a 45-foot boat that can accommodate up to 25 divers on a single trip. The Sun Dancer is a 40-foot fiberglass vessel that can carry up to 15 divers, and the 90-foot Pride of the Carolinas is a state of the art aluminum ship that can take up to 35 divers and a total of 68 passengers – perfect for a group outing and a deeper dive.
Scuba tours are available almost daily, with a schedule selecting a different dive site every day. Coastal Scuba also features an on-site retail shop where you can purchase scuba-related items, T-shirts and other gear, as well as equipment rental. A team of underwater photographers are on hand to capture shots of you underwater so you can carry home proof of your scuba-diving adventure.