Mermet Springs isn’t your typical dive site. The 8.5 acre, spring-fed quarry located in Southern Illinois is one of the most popular dive sites in the Midwest. It offers seven training platforms, easy entry docks, dives from 15 to 120 feet in depth, and numerous sunken treasures to explore.
Many of Diventures’ divers travel to Mermet Springs to complete their open water training dives, specialty course checkout dives, or a “just for a fun” dive weekend. James Roberts and Springfield’s Landlocked Scuba Club recently took a trip to the quarry. This was James’ first-time diving Mermet Springs, and he had a blast!
James has been diving since fall of 2020. He found Landlocked Scuba Club while he was on his very first dive as a certified diver at Beaver Lake, and he has been joining them on dives ever since.
James’ favorite part of the Mermet Spring’s dives was “easily the Boeing 727!” The Boeing 727 was used in filming U.S. Marshals in 1997. The plane was later purchased and taken to Mermet Springs where the wreck now lies 50 feet under the surface. The fuselage is 120-feet-long, providing a swim-through unlike any other. Along with the Boeing 727, the quarry is also home to a submerged school bus, semi-tractor and sunken boat.
The most interesting thing James saw on his dives was at 75 feet. “We were at a chilling 51º F by a sunken speed boat, and I saw a huge albino channel catfish chilling around the dive bell!” Mermet Springs is known for its pre-historic looking sea creatures. While diving there, you’ll likely see bluegill, catfish and American paddlefish. If you’re lucky, you may even spot a freshwater jellyfish!
James enjoys diving with Landlocked Scuba Club because of the sense of community he feels both in the water and on their group’s page. “The Facebook page is a great place for divers to ask questions, share the occasional funny meme and find dive buddies.” James tries to jump into as many dives as he can.
Check out more of James’ photos and videos from Mermet Springs.