For over twenty years we have promoted the Island of Roatan as one of our favorite dive destinations. Located off the coast of Honduras, Roatan is the largest of the Bay Islands and the location of CoCo View Resort.
Founded in 1983 by Bill & Evelyn Evans it boasts one of the highest frequency of repeat guests.
One of the attractions is the wreck of the "Prince Albert". The 140' island freighter was a Nicaraguan owned vessel that's last voyage was delivering refugees from Honduras' war torn neighbor, Nicaragua, to the safety of Roatan. Abandoned, stripped and partially submerged in the port of French Harbor, Bill "Speedy" Evans sought government approval to secure the ship to be sunk as an artificial reef. Local businessman, Albert Jackson, provided the needed assistance and "Mr. Bill" began the work of prepping the ship's interior for safe diving exploration. Hatches were removed or welded opened and holes were cut in the bulkhead to prevent divers from becoming trapped while penetrating the wreck. The tanker was then towed by the shrimp boat, Sheena Mc, toward its new home the "front porch" of CoCo View Resort. But the old lady was not ready to go down that easy. She became unmanageable in rough seas eventually running aground on the reef. Attempts were made over several weeks to free her but she held firm even breaking one of the tow cables.
Finally in February of 1985, local shrimp boat owner, Jerry Hynds, was contracted to finish the job. His trawler, Lady Eleanor, was successful in getting the tanker to release her final grasp on the reef and his crew, with the help of the CoCo View fleet, positioned her in front of the resort for scuttling. Sea water was pumped into the ship and after about an hour and a half she finally slipped beneath the azure sea coming to rest upright in a sand channel. Her stern settled at a depth of 65' with the bow rising up the sandy slope to 45' allowing ample sunlight to bathe the wreck.
Needing a name for the submerged vessel it was suggested by one of Bill's guest to name it the "Prince Albert" in appreciation and recognition of Albert Jackson's support in securing permission from the government to make this ship the first intentionally sunk artificial reef in the Bay Islands. The sinking of the "Prince Albert" not only offered up a new dive site for guests and home for marine life but it also provided a new advertising slogan for CoCo View resort "Our Front Yard Is A Wreck".