There are over 200 ship wrecks in the area providing homes to some of the largest goliath groupers, beautiful corals, and fish. Many are natural wrecks and some have been put down as artificial reefs to help give the fish a home when many of the coral reefs are getting damaged. The reefs of South Florida are superb! They are healthy and thriving in most areas. In the Greater Fort Lauderdale area in particular, our reef system is very unique. You can book a trip to dive them daily.
The M/V Castor, a cargo carrier, was sunk as part of Artificial Reef Program of Palm Beach County on December 14, 2001. She is 258' and is very open as all the doors have been removed. She is totally inhabited by Goliath Grouper and during mating season, this is a hugely popular dive. When you go down towards the engine room, the Groupers will actually bark or honk at you to let you know that it is their space. The outskirts of the wreck have some of the broken mast and structure and the groupers also will congregate there when many people are in the wreck.
The Rebel is a 128' Dutch freighter. She was purchased by an environmentalist and donated to the Broward County Artificial Reef Program. She was named “Rebel” after the purchaser's dog. She was sunk July 16, 1985. As this is an older more mature wreck, there is substantial growth and color. It is very open and has good penetration. There are schools of bait fish that hover in it's protection, and schools of jacks, with some giant barracuda. This is a more advanced dive because of the depth. The wheel house starts at 85'
The 170' Union Express is a Dutch Coastal Freighter sunk in 1992. The hull is broken apart in 2 pieces, lying on her port side. She is within swimming distance to another wreck called the Mariner II barge. Because there are 2 wrecks s close together, the fish love to populate these as there are great places to hide. She sits in the sand and is a favorite site for spearfishing.
Sunk on February 20 1990, this 175-foot coast guard buoy tender is one of the most “covered in coral” wrecks to dive on. Because this vessel is so large, you can easily swim through many areas without seeing other people. A favorite section is the outside hall passage where you have to avoid fans and whips as you swim past. There are many passages and rooms for penetration. And you will usually see a few resident goliath groupers scurrying from section to section to stay out of your way.
This 160' tender was sunk on May 14, 1994 with the Pompano Fishing Rodeo and Broward County Artificial Reef Program. It is a great advanced and technical dive. It has 3 levels, 2 being in the wheelhouse so it is a super tall structure and a great place for corals and fish to latch on and hide. It is in pretty good shape still. There is a really nice long swim thru if you are wreck certified and feel up to being under structure for a period without seeing the exit. For those of you, this is your wreck.
The 110' Mary St. Phillips is also known as Mariner II tug. She was built in 1943 and used as a towboat. She was sunk in 1993 along with another barge (The Mariner II barge). As she is a smaller wreck, she has a lot of life and fish because not as many dive boats frequent her. There is a cable connecting the 2 ships. She does have some penetration, and sometimes you will find larger fish hanging about.
The Lady Luck is one of the newer ship wrecks in Pompano Beach suck July 23, 2016. She is 324 ft. long, 50 ft wide. She has been changed into an underwater casino with dealers that are octopus, slot machines and card sharks. Sit at a card table and play a hand with them. Swim among larger than life dice stacks and explore this revamped tanker. Look for the mermaid waitress, fish working the ropes, and starfish that are 4-5' wide. We have Pompano Beach artist Dennis MacDonald to thank for all the artistic life on board. The Lady Luck wreck was donated as a dive site from the generousity of the Isle Casino Racing and the City of Pompano Beach about 1 ½ miles offshore.
The 215' twin-masted Dutch freighter was sunk in 1990 to celebrate the Pompano Beach Fishing Rodeo's 25th anniversary. This is a super deep wreck. It is covered with corals and sponges, and densely populated with fish. Her mast has fallen over to one side, but the twin masts are still erect over the wheelhouse. There are sometimes pretty strong currents and sometimes you can see some sharks there. She is great for advanced and technical divers.