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.
This western facing ledge is a great lobster dive. There are loads of nooks and crannies to hide in. Snappers and Grunts teem amongst the red rope sponges and barrel sponges. There are undercuts of the reef at the bottom AND at the top of this reef providing lots of havens for juvenile fish, eels, and lobsters. Beginning divers will love this reef.
This little 65' tugboat was built in 1940 and sunk at August 15, 1987. She is totally covered in corals and fish. She rests 40-45 degrees off the Port bow of The Ancient Mariner, on a compass heading of 155 degrees, and about 100-150 ft seaward. It is very worth the swim over on a nice day and if you have good air consumption. There are loads of macro critters to look at, and it has super colors for photographers.
The Jay Scutti is a 95' tugboat and sits upright. Dale Scutti donated her to the Broward County's Artificial Reef Program in memory of his son, Jay. The Scutti is one of 4 wrecks in a line. To the South are the Pride and the Tracey and to the North the Merci Jesus. The 45' Moonshot and the 95' sailboat Pride are also within swimming distance and although small, fun to go to. She is mostly covered in coral growth, sponges, and blue tunicates. This is a great beginners dive.
This wreck is a 95' Coast Guard Cutter (USCG) and was sunk in 1989. After a fire, she was sold at auction in Fort Lauderdale to Dale Scutti, who renamed her Robert Edmister after a close friend who was a ocean environmentalist. She has a 100' cable attached to the stern that connects her to the wreck of the Wendy Rossheim, a 118 foot motor yacht. This is a great beginner dive site, and photographers will love it as well as there are usually schools of fish hanging about.
This strip of ledge has many caves, crevices and overhangs. This attracts a large amount of marine life. Not so many schools of fish but lots of grouper, gags and tropicals. There can be strong currents but it is a great drift dive. It is a super lobster reef as well. It is not a long reef system though, so if there is a really strong current this is probably not the best choice. It is a fantastic night dive. Good for beginning divers.
This is an impressive ledge, about 15'. It is called Shark Ledge because there are a population of Caribbean Reef Sharks that have populated the area. You can expect to see a shark every time you dive there. Turtles and Moray eels are also common. There is also a nice sized cavern to the North end of the reef. Aside from that, this is a very nice ledge, fairly steep and full of crags. Great for all levels of diver.
This 165' US Coast Guard cutter used to be a restaurant located on the new River in Fort Lauderdale. She sank at the dock before she opened and was recovered, cleaned, and prepped to become a restaurant again. Amazingly, it then sank again. She was officially sunk off Deerfield Beach in about 72' of water on June 9, 1991 by the artificial reefs program in Broward County. Great for new and inexperienced divers, as well as photographers and more advanced divers alike. There is a small tugboat about 85 feet off the bow called the Berry Patch.
A 180' barge sunk in 1986 that lies upside down. In 1988, a dredge pipe and concrete bridge beams were added to the site to help increase growth on the artificial reef. There are lots of railings and beams exposed, and they are encrusted with colorful hard and soft corals, purple tube sponges, rope sponges, and sea fans. Angel fish swim about slowly as it is a safe ground with plenty of hiding spots. There are schools of bait fish all about her, and she is great for beginning divers as well as spearfishing. As she lies mostly in the sand, it makes for good photography as there is a nice contrast.
This 90' long tugboat was sunk by the Broward County Artificial Reef Program on August 11, 1998. She is a great open water dive and is part of a wreck treck, a dive that covers 3 wrecks in one dive (the Scutti and the Tracy are the others). She has a nice open structure with an overhead and usually this area is filled with schools of snapper. She has some good penetration and is open and airy. She also has good coral life and some sea fans and sponges.
This 114' steel-hulled Danish freighter was sunk in 1988 as a joint venture between the Broward and Palm Beach County Artificial Reef Programs. In 1992 Hurricane Andrew broke her into 2 pieces. There is a submersible that was sunk but you can barely recognize it as it was also demolished by Hurricane Andrew. The Noula lies in the sand near some patch reef. She lies close to the United Caribbean and the Sea Emperor and so you will often see some of the same fish life and critters such as sting rays, and sometimes Goliath Groupers.
This little gem is more like a reef than a wreck. It is a 171-foot barge that rests upside down. On one side there are drainage pipes that provide wonderful hiding places for loads of creatures such as green morays, grunts, and goliath grouper. There are other concrete structures that provide homes to a variety of creatures. This wreck is often frequented by southern sting rays and they are not shy to interact with divers. This wreck is a must for all divers! If you want, there is a rock path that leads you to another wreck called the United Caribbean about 100' away.
The wreck of the Tracy is a 130' long oil rig supply boat and is part of the “wreck trek”. She is really nicely covered with corals and sponges. Loads of fish congregate in the open decks. There is a plaque on the ship that was placed in memory of a local diving instructor, Ken Vitale. She is about 100' away from the Jay Scutti wreck, with a cable running in-between them which makes getting there easy. This wreck has good easy penetration and is a great beginner dive and great for photographers
The United Caribbean is a 147' cargo ship sunk as part of the Artificial Reef Program of Palm Beach in 2000. She rests near the Sea Empress and there is a row of boulders that leads the way there, about a 200' swim to the NE. It is inhabited by several enormous Goliath Grouper. They seem to go back and forth between the 2 wrecks depending on their mood. In this last hurricane, she broke apart a bit, and the penetration is not as good. BUT, she is still great for exploration. This is a nice easy beginner dive, and the critter watching is super.
Built in 1940, she used to be called the Lilian. This 85 ft. long harbor tugboat came to us from the McALLISTER Towing Co., NY, NY, hence her name. As with others, she was sunk as part of Broward Artificial Reef Program. She is covered in red, orange and yellow corals, and there are usually schools of grunts swimming inside the second deck. Nearby, the the Bruce Mueller, a 41' steel Ragboat lies within swimming distance.
This site consists of several wrecks, some broken, some covered by sand with bits sticking up, but there is always great firs life out and about. You will often see sharks as it is a great spearfishing site, and they have come to know that. You will also see loads of eels, and small critters, schools of atlantic spadefish, and lots of life in general. This is an awesome drift dive. You will just keep seeing bits pop up as you drift.
This wreck is one of the most well-known in Fort Lauderdale. She is 198' and her hull broken apart due to Hurricane Andrew but she still holds interest because of her story. She ran aground in Palm Beach on Thanksgiving Day, 1984 during a bad storm. Left on the beach for three months, Broward County swooped in and somehow claimed her for Fort Lauderdale. After being stripped and cleaned, she was sunk. This is an advanced dive due to the depth and the current that sometimes runs pretty strong. there are usually schools of yellowtail snapper and Jacks.