Exploring the protected Dive Sites of Addu City

Protected Dive Sites of Addu City

Addu City, located in the Southern Maldives, is home to two remarkable marine areas that have been designated as protected Dive Sites of Addu City. These sites offer unique experiences for divers and snorkelers, showcasing both historical relics and vibrant marine life. In this article, we will take a deep dive into these protected dive sites and explore the wonders they have to offer.

Dive Sites of Addu City 1: The Historical Significance of the British Loyalty Shipwreck

One of the protected dive sites in Addu City is the British Loyalty shipwreck. This sunken relic holds a significant place in history as a remnant of the Second World War. Originally an oil tanker used to supply the RAF base in Gan, the British Loyalty was torpedoed by the German navy in 1944. In 1946, it was intentionally scuttled by British Forces to the southwest of Hithadhoo, where it now rests on the ocean floor. The British Loyalty shipwreck has become a popular attraction for both local divers and tourists visiting Addu City. Its historical significance combined with the stunning underwater views make it a must-visit destination. As you explore the wreckage, you’ll be transported back in time, witnessing the remnants of a bygone era. The shipwreck is adorned with colourful coral formations and teems with a diverse array of marine life, creating a truly mesmerising experience for underwater enthusiasts

Dive Sites of Addu City 2: The Enchanting ‘Kandi Hera Maakandu’ Channel

Another protected marine area in Addu City is the ‘Kandi Hera Maakandu’ channel. This channel is renowned for its frequent visits by majestic Manta Rays, adding an element of enchantment to the diving and snorkeling experiences in this region. As you glide through the crystal-clear waters, you’ll have the opportunity to witness these graceful creatures in their natural habitat.

The ‘Kandi Hera Maakandu’ channel and its surrounding areas have been designated as protected to ensure the preservation of the delicate ecosystem and the thriving Manta Ray population. By safeguarding this underwater haven, authorities aim to maintain the biodiversity and natural beauty of Addu City for future generations to enjoy.

Responsible Tourism and Environmental Protection

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is committed to preserving the marine environment and wildlife within these protected dive sites. To achieve this, EPA urges all visitors to exercise responsible tourism practices while engaging in activities such as diving, snorkeling, or other water sports. It is essential to avoid causing any damage to the environment or disturbing the marine life that calls these sites home.

Exploring the Protected Dive Sites of Addu City

When embarking on a diving or snorkeling adventure in Addu City, it is crucial to respect the guidelines and regulations set forth by EPA. By doing so, you can help preserve the natural wonders that await beneath the surface. Let’s take a closer look at what you can expect when exploring the British Loyalty shipwreck and the ‘Kandi Hera Maakandu’ channel.

The British Loyalty Shipwreck Experience

As you descend into the depths of the Indian Ocean, the British Loyalty shipwreck comes into view. The massive structure stands as a testament to the events of the Second World War. The ship’s hull, covered in vibrant coral, provides a habitat for various marine species, creating a thriving underwater ecosystem. Exploring the wreckage, you’ll encounter schools of tropical fish, vibrant coral formations, and even the occasional sea turtle.

Tips for Diving the British Loyalty Shipwreck

  1. Safety First: Before diving, ensure you have the necessary certifications and experience to explore this advanced dive site.
  2. Dive with a Professional: Consider booking a dive with a local dive operator who is familiar with the area and can guide you safely through the wreckage.
  3. Underwater Photography: Capture the beauty of the shipwreck and its inhabitants but remember to respect the marine life and refrain from touching or damaging any coral formations.
  4. Responsible Diving: Practice good buoyancy control to avoid accidental contact with the shipwreck or disturbing the marine life.
  5. Leave No Trace: Carry out any trash or debris you may encounter during your dive, leaving the underwater environment pristine for future visitors.
The Enigmatic ‘Kandi Hera Maakandu’ Channel

The ‘Kandi Hera Maakandu’ channel offers a whole different underwater experience. As you immerse yourself in the azure waters, you’ll be greeted by the graceful presence of Manta Rays. These gentle giants glide effortlessly through the water, captivating all who have the privilege of witnessing their elegant movements.

Tips for Snorkeling in the ‘Kandi Hera Maakandu’ Channel

  1. Snorkel Gear: Ensure you have a well-fitting mask, snorkel, and fins to enhance your snorkeling experience.
  2. Snorkeling Techniques: Practice proper snorkeling techniques, including breathing through the snorkel and using your fins to propel yourself gently through the water.
  3. Respectful Distance: Maintain a respectful distance from the Manta Rays to avoid causing them stress or disturbance.
  4. Observe, Don’t Touch: Resist the temptation to touch or chase after the Manta Rays. Instead, observe them from a distance and appreciate their natural behavior.
  5. Eco-Friendly Sunscreen: When applying sunscreen before entering the water, choose reef-safe options to protect the delicate marine ecosystem.


Addu City’s protected dive sites offer a treasure trove of experiences for underwater enthusiasts. From exploring the historical British Loyalty shipwreck to witnessing the grace of Manta Rays in the ‘Kandi Hera Maakandu’ channel, these sites provide a glimpse into the wonders of the underwater world. By practicing responsible tourism and supporting the conservation efforts of the Environmental Protection Agency, we can ensure that these dive sites remain pristine and accessible for years to come. So, grab your gear, dive into the depths, and let Addu City’s protected dive sites leave you in awe of the beauty that lies beneath the surface.

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