During the course of Stranded Deep, one may find the occasional wreck lying somewhere in the environment. Shipwrecks are large underwater structures introduced in v0.01 of Stranded Deep. They are the dilapidated remains of boats that seem to have been abandoned for several years. They can be found near or on islands or at the bottom of the ocean. Shipwrecks in the ocean can almost always be found directly below bubbles that appear on the surface of the water as markers.
Each wreck type contains several compartments where different kinds of loot can be salvaged. Tools such as the axe and the hammer can be found in toolboxes strewn about the wreckages, while large components such as the engine can be uncovered from console cabinets in the main compartments.
One must take care when exploring wrecks, especially those found either directly on land or in the deeper parts of the ocean. For example, it is recommended that the player bring some sort of object, such as a tree trunk, to use to climb out of the smaller fishing boats' hatches, in order to avoid getting trapped. Reaching and salvaging loot from deeper wrecks often requires the use of an air tank to avoid drowning. Sharks can also be found patrolling the waters next to the wrecks, so one must be wary of them before diving in.
Both ship and plane wrecks are usually filled with containers such as lockers, cabinets, consoles and toolboxes. These containers often contain valuable supplies that could be used to the player's advantage.
The player would be able to identify what kind of loot would be available by observing what kind of container is present: console cabinets often contain the inner components of a motor (items such as an engine, carburetor or propeller), regular cabinets often contain items with medicinal qualities (such as vitamins or morphine), lockers and toolboxes often contain various tools that the player would be able to use to their advantage (such as a lantern, a paddle, a machete or a flare gun) and hard cases often contain smaller supplies that the player can use for varying purposes (items such as cloth, duct tape or a compass).
- Some shipwrecks can be found with skeleton arms grabbing onto the edge of the hatch door, either suggesting that the crew members from the shipwrecks died trying to get out or another survivor got trapped inside it. They are mostly found in fishing boat wrecks.
- The presence of several ship and plane wrecks, as well as other man-made structures such as the sea forts and buoys, suggests that people have explored these areas long before the main character's marooning. From their current state of decomposition, it can be assumed that several years have passed since their sinking/crashing/abandoning.
- Despite the decaying appearance of the ships' and planes' shells, coupled with how far down into the depths they currently rest, the supplies they hold within are oddly well-preserved, to the point where they are still in perfect working condition.
- Taking into account the printed best-before date on the can of beans that can occasionally be found within shipwrecks (12/05/25), it can be assumed that Stranded Deep takes place sometime in the near-future (around the 2020s) and that the ships found in the game sank at a more recent time, rather than decades ago. With this in mind, their decomposed state may be due in part to years of operation.