Lake Jocassee is in South Carolina and holds a few interesting secrets. One of which is the Mt. Carmel Cemetery. It was sent to the bottom in 1973 when the valley was flooded to create a reservoir for the new nuclear power plant.
The infamous movie “Deliverance” featured the Mt. Carmel cemetery. As I wound through the hills of South Carolina to the dive shop, I could hear the dueling banjos playing in my head. In the clip below from Deliverance, you can see the backhoe and graves from when they were removing bodies before they flooded the valley.
This cemetery is 130ft deep and lies right at the extreme limit of my training. The dive plan only allowed for about 9 minutes at the bottom to avoid necessary decompression.
Another concern for divers at this depth is Nitrogen Narcosis. This is sort of like becoming drunk from the excess nitrogen in your system due to deep depths. It affects everyone differently and for me it clearly affected my ability to run the camera. There were a couple of shots I thought I captured, but after I reviewed the video on the surface, I realized I turned off the camera when I thought I was turning it on.
Below is the video I was able to capture featuring some of the more prominent grave sites. I saw open graves from where the bodies were exhumed, but unfortunately I messed up and didn’t capture the video.
I hope to visit this site sometime again in the future and explore it further.
If you are ever out this way and want to check it out, head to The Lake Jocassee Dive Shop. They’ll take care of you.