Wrecks of Ft. Lauderdale

The Local Wrecks of Fort Lauderdale:

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. You can book a trip to dive them daily.

Ancient Mariner Wreck

Ancient Mariner Wreck (depth 72')

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.

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Berry Patch

Berry Patch (depth 63')

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.

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Captain Dan

Captain Dan Wreck (depth 112')

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.

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Clinton Wreck (DeWit Clinton) (depth 175')

This 150-foot Freighter built in in 1848 and was sunk May,12 1995. This wreck is a former dredge barge, sunk by the Broward County Artificial Reefs Program. She is a large wreck with a lot of debris on the main decks. There are lots of uprights and masts still standing erect. Extensive colors cover the railings and all surfaces. This is a deep dive for experienced fivers. This is a massive wreck so plan to spend some time exploring it.

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Guy Harvey

Guy Harvey Wreck (depth 145')

The wreck of the Guy Harvey is 185' long and was set down on May 18, 1997 graciously by Guy Harvey and the Pompano Fishing Rodeo. While being prepared to be sunk, wildlife artist Guy Harvey painted a beautiful mural on the side of the wreck featuring tuna, sharks, sailfish and grouper. For the first year you could dive and see his painting set against the backdrop of the ocean, but now it is mostly covered with coral and algae. This is an advanced dive, great for technical diving and super penetration.

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Hog Heaven

Hog Heaven Wreck (72')

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.

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Hydro Atlantic

Hydro Atlantic Wreck (174')

This wreck sank naturally in a storm on December 7, 1987 just outside of the Boca Inlet. The ship was under tow to be used for salvage. She is a massive wreck, a 320 feet long freighter. Fish are everywhere! A huge crane creates an awesome silhouette at mid ship. The winch is still on the bow and the engine room is fun to explore as it is still intact, there are cables and rigging everywhere. The deck is littered with equipment. Swim down the stairs into the lower deck, the passageways are narrow though. The main deck is at 150 feet, so, this is for sure an advanced dive!

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Jay Scutti

Jay Scutti Wreck (65')

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 Jay Scutti is part of the Fort Lauderdale wreck trek. 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.

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Jim Artia

Jim Artia Wreck (132')

The 240' Dutch freighter was sunk in 1987as part of the the Broward County Artificial Reef Program. She has shifted position over the years as she is large and storms have been tough. She used to be totally lying on her port side, but In 1992, Hurricane Andrew moved her to 132' and into a more upright position. She has 2 large masts and they are still attached. As she is deep, she is covered with corals, sponges and fans. She is great for photographers, advanced and tech divers. The cargo hold is home to large schools of fish, Glass Sweepers, jacks, snappers, and grunts.

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Jim Artia

Lady Luck Wreck (126')

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.

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Lowrance Wreck (210')

This deep wreck was sunk on March 31, 1984. She is a 420' freighter and is a massive sight under water. Even on tri-mix you will not get through her on one dive, and you shouldn't try. You MUST be careful though as she is covered with fishing line from years of use. The Lowrance wreck sits upright with the tallest part in 160' and has huge cargo holds and a few nice swim-throughs. The staircases, ladders and railings are covered with coals and there are some fish!

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Mary St. Phillips / Mariner II

Mary St. Phillips / Mariner II Wreck (120')

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 such as Goliath Grouper hanging about.

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McAllister Tug Boat

McAllister Tug Boat (depth 75')

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.

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Mercedes I

Mercedes I Wreck (82')

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.

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Merci Jesus

Merci Jesus Wreck (72')

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 the Fort Lauderdale 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.

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Miller Lite

Miller Lite Wreck (165')

This 200' a German refrigerator cargo vessel was sunk in 1987. She is a deep wreck and below recreational limits. She also lies close to the inlet, is covered with fishing line, and loads of fish-life. Divers with tech certification will love this wreck. She is very well intact, completely encrusted with coral, and penetration is very good on this wreck. Sea fans rim the railings. You can enter through several blow holes on her sides. She is open and airy and easy to get around. You can easily drop down though her center.

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Miracle of Life / Miss Lourdies

Miracle of Life / Miss Lourdies Wreck (145')

This 170-foot supply Vessel was sunk in 142 feet on June, 06 2009. Many people got to watch her sink, and cameras were put on her masts to record the sinking from the wreck. She is still pretty young as wrecks go, and she is not covered with as much beautiful corals as other wrecks because she was cleanly stripped of anything that could be considered hazardous wen diving, but she is a very interesting dive. At 110' there is a 14' statue of an angel. Advanced divers only recommended!

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The M/V Castor Wreck (110')

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.

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Noula Express

Noula Express Wreck (72')

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.

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Qualman Tugs

Qualmann Tugs (79')

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.

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Ronald B. Johnson Vietnam Veterans Reef

RBJ Wreck (270')

Ronald B. Johnson Vietnam Veterans Reef: This dive is a BOGO dive. You get 2 wrecks for the price of one. The RBJ, 226-foot long freighter, lies across the body of another wreck, the Corey N Chris, a 130' long dredge. It was a total accident how this happened. The Corey was sunk on May 18, 1986, through the efforts of the Pompano Beach Fishing Rodeo, Inc. and Broward County. The RBJ was sunk May 15, 1988 and ended up on top of the Corys perpendicular to it on an angle so the rear sits on the sand at 270'. This is an advanced technical dive based on depth and the typically strong currents.

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Rebel Wreck

Rebel Wreck (depth 110')

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'

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Robert Edmister

Robert Edmister Wreck (65')

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.

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Rodeo 25

Rodeo 25 Wreck (127')

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.

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RSB-1 Wreck (115')

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.

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Sea Emperor

Sea Emperor Wreck (depth 72')

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.

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Sucre Wreck (220')

The Sucre, a 200' Freighter was sunk in 1996 by the Pompano Fishing Rodeo. She is fairly intact with a great structure good for penetration. Beams and railings are totally covered with corals. You can make out the ladders and see cascading corals coming down them. The engine room is nice and clean and very roomy but has become home to many lion fish. The long passages along the cargo holds are pretty silted up. There are more lion fish that have made the bow their home. Because of her depth, we recommend this for tech divers only.

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The Tracy Wreck

The Tracy Wreck (72')

The wreck of the Tracy is a 130' long oil rig supply boat and is part of the Fort Lauderdale 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

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Union Express

Union Express (110')

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 close together, the fish love to populate these as there are great places to hide. The Union Express sits in the sand and is a favorite site for spearfishing. Sometimes you can find a Goliath Grouper hanging around this wreck.

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United Caribbean

United Caribbean Wreck (74')

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.

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