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The Hilma Hooker used to be a marihuana drug smuggler that sank as an artificial dive site in the south of Bonaire.

Name Dive Site:Hilma Hooker
Depth: 18-35m (59-114ft)
Inserted/Added by: lars, © Author: Lars Hemel

Rated 5.0, 3 votes

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Bonaire's most famous wreck is without doubt the wreck of the Hilma Hooker that was scuttled just offshore Bonaire's salt mines and Atlantis Beach in september 1984. The 70 meter long Hilma Hooker was built in the Netherlands in 1951 under the name MS Midsland. Other names she has been known by are MS Mistral, MS William Express, MS Anna and the MS Doric Express. In 1984 she was transporting eleven tons of marihuana when she got into technical rudder problems. It took a week before the immigration police decided to start investigating this cargo ship and finally found the marihuana beneath a false bulkhead. The drug smuggler, leaking oil, was cleaned and had to leave the harbor. Captain Don proposed to let it sink near Angel City as an artificial dive site. However, since the owner couldn't be found, the vessel was anchored for weeks near a dive site named Angel City, until it started to take on water and sank. Local dive shops drilled holes and removed dangerous metal to make it a safe dive site for sport divers. It had sunk in between two reefs creating the best artificial wreck dive in Bonaire.

Laying on its starboard side, parallel to the reef, this wreck is still filled with loose materials. There are quite a few open passages, locked doors and hidden rooms that make this wreck fantastic for experienced wreck penetration divers. Its hull is covered in orange cup corals; you can see its huge bronze propeller and the clear blue views from the engine room are excellent. You will often find qualification divers that complete their wreck specialty or technical wreck penetration dive. Try to dive the Hilma Hooker in quiet weather with minimal surge since there are quite a few rocks you can bang into if you enter from shore. Its name is probably a combination of the owners' wife's name and its illegal activities.

The fish life around the Hilma Hooker is enormous. You will often find cruising schools of tarpon and barracuda. There is a eel garden just behind the main mast. And since the wreck is located in between two reefs you can easily do your safety stop while viewing the other shallower reef after finishing the wreck.


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