Alexander's Wreck

If you're looking for an exciting and historical dive site in the Florida Keys, you may want to check out diver favourite "Alexander's Wreck." This is the watery resting place of the US steel-hull Navy destroyer escort USS Amesbury. The Amesbury was decommissioned and was being directed to a deeper location around the Keys to be sunk in order to form an artificial reef when she sank in a storm en route. The vessel sank where she lies now, an artificial reef split into two halves separated by 150 yards.

You'll find a buoy marking the site of the wreck at 24.616167 degrees latitude by -081.981833 longitude. The ship measures 300 feet and has become a bustling underwater habitat since she sank. Highlights include an active coral reef with oysters, Jewfish, hogfish, angelfish, snappers, porkfish, and others. The Jewfish is on the endangered species list, but is beginning to thrive again thanks to artificial reefs like Alexander's Wreck. You'll also be able to get a good look at the ship itself, including the deck guns, some of which are still visible beneath the sea life which has taken hold of the deck. You may also be able to find some military artifacts among the remains of the ship.

While this is a diving site, it should be noted that it's only in about 25-30 feet of water, and as such isn't that deep. Ships sometimes even run into the hull, so you'll see broken off pieces of metal stuck in the hull while you're diving. You can also see the wreck while snorkeling if you don't feel like diving. During low tide, the hull actually breaks the water line. Sea conditions can greatly impact visibility; on the whole this wreck has great reviews from divers and snorkelers, but check the sea conditions for visibility before you head out, and consider snorkeling instead of diving for your convenience.

Need A Hotel?