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Approximately 6 miles southwest from the shores of Isla Mujeres this shipwreck diving adventure is waiting for you! One of our most exciting dive sites is the C-55 Shipwreck. The journey from Isla Mujeres is a beautiful boat ride going south west from the island.

This ship was intentionally sunk and rests now at a depth of 25 mt. / 80 ft. She was sunk in May of 2000 by the Mexican Government in an effort to create an alternative dive site and to provide relief for the reefs of the National Park. Nowadays this beautiful shipwreck is home to schools of barracudas, groupers, snappers, eagle rays and green moray eels.

What’s the Story Behind the C-55 Shipwreck?


C55 USS Ransom (AM-283) is an Admirable-class minesweeper. She was built in San Francisco for the United States Navy during World War II, and was launched in 1943.

She has seen the shores of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and patrolled the smallest islands in the South Pacific. Her history includes rescuing sailors at sea and taking on fire from suicide kamikaze bombers. She received three battle stars for service in the Pacific during World War II.

In addition, she served as a minesweeper in the East China Sea and around Japan in Okinawa, Nagasaki and Bungo. Ultimately, the US Navy decommissioned and placed her in reserve in 1947.

Although Ransom was recommissioned in March 1951 during the Korean War, she did not see service in a war zone. She remained in commission until September 1953, whereupon she was placed into reserve again.

While she remained in reserve, Ransom was reclassified as MSF-283 in February 1955 and never reactivated.

The C-55 Ship Comes to Mexico

C-55 Shipwreck back deck

In 1962 the Mexican Navy bought the ship, renamed it ARM DM-12 and the C-55 began a new life south of the border. In 1994 she was renamed ARM Teniente Juan de la Barrera (C55), named after Juan de la Barrera a war hero from the September 1847 Battle of Chapultepec.

The Mexican goverment deliberately sunk the ship in the year 2000 to make an artificial reef off the coast of Cancun.

In 2005, Hurricane Wilma hit the Cancun and Isla Mujeres area damaging the sunken C-55 and breaking the hull into four sections.

Diving the C-55 Shipwreck

Advanced diving on wrecks

The C-55 Shipwreck is one of the more advanced dive sites around Isla Mujeres. Confidence and experience are required, mostly because it regularly has very a strong current and it is a deeper dive site.

The bottom surrounding the shipwreck is beautiful white sand. Sticking out from the sand you can see the main engine, which a large green moray eel has claimed as his castle.

Other large and impressive marine life such as Spotted Eagle Rays and Reef Sharks can be observed in and around the wreck. Loggerhead Turtles also visit the shipwreck on a regular basis.

This is a fantastic dive year round, however the best months are from December through March. Spotted Eagle Rays start migrating to the area during the wintertime.

Sometimes you can see up to 100 Spotted Eagle Rays, flapping their fins around and playing in the current.

Remember to keep your eye out for surfacing turtles and pods of dolphins as you make your way to the dive! 

Shipwreck C-55 Dive Details

  • Depth: 82 feet / 25 meters
  • Required Experience Level: Advanced Open Water Certified Diver
  • Average Underwater Visibility: 40 feet / 12 meters
  • Average Water Temp: 77 Fº / 25 Cº

Check out our interesting article about Spotted Eagle Rays!

Want to Join the Adventure? Book and Dive the Shipwrecks now!

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