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BUAR - Exempted Shipwreck Sites

Find information on “exempted” shipwreck sites fully open to recreational divers without a permit as designated by the Massachusetts Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources (BUAR).


Where, in BUAR's judgment, an underwater archaeological resource, because of its location, condition, history, or resource value, is best left in the public domain, it may declare the site exempt from the permit process. The list below indicates all of the underwater archaeological sites in Massachusetts that are designated as "exempted sites." Recreational diving activities, including casual artifact collection, on exempted shipwreck sites do not require a permit from BUAR. However, any major disruption of the site is prohibited. The intent of creating an exempted shipwreck site is to preserve such sites for the continued enjoyment of the recreational diving community. The recreational diving community is encouraged to protect these sites for the continued enjoyment of all.

The List of Exempted Shipwrecks is open to modification. BUAR invites interested parties to suggest changes, provide information, or make comment on this list. See the Exempted Site Nomination Process (PDF, 79 KB) for details on nominating new exempted sites. In addition, the 40 Exempted Sites are member sites of the National System of Marine Protected Areas. Membership in the national system does not restrict or change the Commonwealth's management of any Exempted Site.

All dives are conducted at your own risk. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts accepts no responsibility for loss of any kind, including personal injury or property damage. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts assumes no liability for inaccuracies in dive information contained in these pages including site locations and dive conditions.

Descriptions of the shipwreck and site are given for the following vessels:

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