To the dismay of hard-core wreck divers and off-the-beaten-track dive tourists everywhere, diving and fishing operations on Micronesia's remote Bikini Atoll shut down in June. "We have made this decision due to the situation of our local airline, Air Marshalls, and also because of the rapid rise in the world price of fuel, which has made all our operating expenses just skyrocket beyond our means," says Jack Niedenthal, Bikini Atoll's tourism operations manager. "At this point in time, the prospect of opening next year appears very doubtful."
Since opening as a dive destination in 1996, Bikini Atoll hosted nearly 2,500 divers who made the long trek to this central Pacific island to dive the more than 15 historic shipwrecks sunk here during U.S. nuclear weapons tests. These ships, both Japanese and American alike, were not only major players in World War II, but they also unwittingly helped usher in the Cold War by showing the world the strength of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. "Lost Wrecks" is a sample of the shipwrecks yet again lost from view. To learn more about Bikini's wrecks and the island's closure, visit bikiniatoll.com.