PADI 5 Star Diving Center and Lessons

Local Florida Wreck Diving

Fort Lauderdale and Pompano are home to many great wreck dives. These artificial reefs are all sunken vessels that flourish with lots of marine life with the exception of the Copenhagen, which is a natural reef. Our most popular wreck dives are the following.

Wreck of the Ancient Mariner

  • Location: Boca Raton, Florida
  • Coordinates: 26.18120’ N & 80.03730’ W
  • Depth: 68’ to the sand, 45’ to the deck
  • Description: The Ancient Mariner is a 165-foot USCG Cutter and was formerly known as “Nemesis” during its use during WWII. Later, the ship was used as Fort Lauderdale’s first floating restaurant before being sunk in 1991. Now, the boat sits in Boca Raton waters, with its bow pointing east. This wreck offers great possibilities for penetration and

Wreck of the Captain Dan

  • Location: Pompano, Florida
  • Coordinates: 26.13135’N & 80.03965’W
  • Depth: 103’ to the bottom, 75’ to the deck
  • Description: A former mission ship & 175' USCG Bouy Tender Holly-Hock.The ship was sunk in memory for Capt Dan Gamsey in 1990. It sits upright and the bow points to the south.  It is a great wreck for penetration if you are certified for this specialty.  Large groupers and pelagic fish can be seen in this wreck. It is a great dive for Advance & Nitrox divers.

Wreck of the Hog Heaven

  • Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Coordinates: 26.0845’N & 80.04874’W
  • Depth: 65’ to the sand, 55’ to the deck
  • Description: 180-foot barge that lies upside down. This wreck was sunk as part of the Artificial Reef System and it flipped while it was making its way to the bottom of the ocean spreading the dredge pipes that it was carrying.  Thirty feet north are the remains of the Pacific Reef Lighthouse. Just south you will find 1,200 feet of dredge pipe and concrete bridge beams. This in one of the best dives in Fort Lauderdale because of the abundant marine life that is attracted to the diverse artificial habitat.

Wreck of the Jay Scutti

  • Location: Fort Lauderdale
  • Coordinates: 26.09506’ N & 80.04770’ W
  • Depth: 70’ to the sand, 56’ to the deck
  • Description:  This 97' Holland Tug Boat was sunk on September 19, 1986. Originally named Airkok from Aruba. This wreck is completely covered in marine life and attracts a lot of different fish. The Jay Scutti forms the middle of the Fort Lauderdale “Wrek Trek”. The Ken Vitale is attached by a chain and lies 100 feet north, while other smaller wrecks are also in the vicinity.

Wreck of the Mercedes

  • Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Coordinates: 26.09349’ N & 80.04512’ W
  • Depth: 90’ to the sand, 60’ to the deck
  • Description: One of the most famous wrecks in Ft Lauderdale.  On Thanksgiving Day in 1984 during a storm, she lost her anchorage and ran aground against a seawall of an exclusive Palm Beach mansion.  This 198-foot freighter was sunk in 1985 as part of the artificial reef system.  When Hurricane Andrew came, it almost split in half.  Most of the center section is destroyed, but the bow is still intact.  It is just outside the third reef; which makes this dive one of the best in Fort Lauderdale. Large schools of baitfish are common, attracting both reef and pelagic predators.

Wreck of the Rebel

  • Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Coordinates: 26.10264’ N & 80.04237’ W
  • Depth: 111’ to the sand, 78’ to the deck
  • Description: Located one mile north of the Mercedes. The 135-foot Norwegian freighter was sunk on July 16, 1985, with the bow pointing north. It was formally known as the Andrea and was renamed the “Rebel” for the owners dog.  We have seen goliath groupers residing in this wreck.  Part of the wreck has been broken up from the constant beating of hurricanes in the area.

Wreck of the Sea Emperor

  • Location: Deerfield Beach/ Boca Raton, Florida
  • Coordinates:  26.19345’ N & 80.03546’ W
  • Depth: 70’ to the sand, 50’ to the seaward edge
  • Description: The Sea Emperor is a 171-foot barge that sits upside-down with the bow pointing south. The hull is easy to penetrate and trained divers can swim from one end to the other. Surrounding the Sea Emperor is the “Aqua Zoo”, which is a pile of culverts that providing complex structure for the reef fish. This area is called the “Aqua Zoo” because these culverts often attract larger sea life, such as southern stingrays, goliath grouper, turtles, and nurse sharks. In addition, another wreck named the United Caribbean lies 300 feet to the south, and can be found by following the trial of concrete from the Sea Emperor.

Wreck of the Tracey aka “Ken Vitale”

  • Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Coordinates: 26.09559’ N & 80.04763’ W
  • Depth: 70” to the sand
  • Description:   This 132-foot oil rig supply boat sits about 100 feet north of the Jay Scutti as part of the Fort Lauderdale “Wrek Trek”. This is a great dive on a fully intact boat, which includes an easy swim-through area. It is home to a large quantity of reef fish, which is often visited by a large goliath grouper.  Ken Vitale was a well-known instructor that died of a heart attack after a dive. On the wreck there is a plaque honoring this well liked local diver.

The Wreck of the Copenhagen

  • Location: Pompano
  • Coordinates: 26.12370’N & 80.05102’W
  • Depth: 15-30’
  • Description: The Copenhagen State Underwater Archaeological Preserve is one of the most popular historical shipwrecks in Florida. This ship was a 325-foot freighter that grounded on the Pompano drop-off in 1900. Parts of the wrecked ship were visible above the surface until it was used as naval target practice during WWII, which broke the ship into many pieces. The shallow depths and a series of mooring balls make this spot great for beginners and snorkelers. The scattered remains of the wreck attract plenty of reef fish.

Wreck of the Donald G McAllister

  • Location: Hollywood, Florida
  • Coordinates:  26.00539’N & 80.05568’ W
  • Depth: 70’ to the sand, 50’ at the top
  • Description: This wreck was sunk June 23, 1998 as part of the Broward County Artificial Reef Program just 5 miles south of Port Everglades. This 101-foot former New York harbor tugboat now lies just inside the third reef. Nearby are some smaller wrecks called the Captain Dede, Emma Bogs, Curry Barge, and the Ebenezer. The wreck has accumulated plenty of growth and is home to multitudes of reef fish

The Guy Harvey Wreck

  • Location: Pompano
  • Coordinates: 26.21091’ N & 80.06576’ W
  • Depth: 140’ to the sand, 110’ to the deck

 

  • The Pride & The Moonshot. The Pride is a 95 foot sail boat that was sunk in 1987 and it sits right next to the Moonshot, a 54 foot steel boat.  These wrecks are just 100 feet south of the Scutty.
  • The Rodeo 25. This 215 foot twin-master Dutch Freighter named Windward Trader, reefed in May 1990 to celebrate the Pompano Beach Fishing Rodeos 25th anniversary.  It lies in 122 feet of water.  The twin masts reach to within 60 feet and the wheelhouse begins at 90 feet.  This is an Advance Dive. Strong Currents are usual on this wreck.

Tenneco Towers

  • Location: Hallandale
  • Coordinates: 25.98216’N & 80.0857’ W
  • Depth: Platform 1= 97’ to the sand, 65’ to the top; Platforms 2 and 3= 110’ to the sand, 60’ to the top.
  • Description: The Largest artificial reef in southeast Florida was created in 1985 when the Tenneco Oil Company sank five large oil production platforms in an east-west line.  Two of the platforms sit on 100 feet of water and rise within 60 feet of the surface.  A smaller platform sits in about 97 feet and rise to about 65 feet.  This is the closest to shore.  The two deep water sections consist of supporting legs.  They sit in about 190 feet of water with the top rising to about 80 feet.  All of them are Advance Dives.  This area is well known for its current, but when conditions are good this is the most amazing dive in Broward County. Since their submersion, coral and sponge growth has quickly covered the towers. Large pelagics and smaller reef-fish can be found on this wreck.

The Rodeo 25 Wreck

  • Location: Pompano
  • Coordinates: 26.13871’ N & 80.03826’ W
  • Depth: 120’ to the sand, 68’ to the mast
  • Description: This wreck is a 215’ Dutch freighter lies 1 mile south of the Hillsboro Inlet. The wreck runs in the N-S direction and is mostly intact. It was sunk in May 1990 in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Pompano Beach Fishing Rodeo. This wreck’s depth and frequently fast currents make this an advanced dive. Baitfish and gamefish are plentiful here, along with the typical reef fish inhabitants.
     

Robert Edmister Wreck

  • Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Coordinates: 26.15321’ N & 80.08061’ W
  • Depth: 70’ to the sand, 50’ to the wheelhouse
  • Description:  This is an ex-USCG Cutter which was re-named after an ocean environmentalist after his death. The 95’ wreck was sunk in December 1989, lies with the bow facing NNE, and is just 1000’ due south of the Jay Scutti. Small reef fish are attracted to this wreck because of its extensive growth, in addition to the occasional larger reef-fish.


Wreck of the Jim Atria

  • Location: Fort Lauderdale
  • Coordinates: 26.1645’ N & 80.07041’ W
  • Depth: 132’ to the sand, 95’ to the wheelhouse
  • Description: This 240’ Dutch freighter was sunk in 1987 as an artificial reef.  The wreck originally sat at 110’, but Hurricane Andrew blew her offshore to 132’. The wreck is mostly intact with some holes for entry for those trained to do so. Large pelagic fish are frequent sightings as they visit the wreck to dine on baitfish.


Wreck of the Ebenezer II

  • Location: Hollywood
  • Coordinates: 26.00398’ N & 80.05598’ W
  • Depth: 70’ to the sand
  • Description: The Ebenezer is a 95 foot freighter that was sunk south of the inlet with its bow looking to the south.  This wreck is a great dive and good for penetration practice if you are qualified.  It is completely intact, but be aware that it sits a little bit on an angle towards starboard.

Wreck of the Dantor

  • Location: Hollywood
  • Coordinates: 26.0059’ N & 80.0499
  • Depth: 128’ to the sand
  • Description: The Dantor is a 160 foot freighter that was sunk in 2002 in about 128 feet of water.  It is one of our newest wrecks in the area.  The wreck is completely intact and is slowly attracting more marine life.

Wreck of the Mercy Jesus

  • Location: Fort Lauderdale
  • Coordinates: 26.09635’ N & 80.04747’ W
  • Depth: 70’ to the sand, 60’ to the deck
  • Description: The Mercy Jesus is a 90’ Freighter that was sunk in 1998.  This wreck is located north of the Ken Vitale Memorial about 120 feet away and northernmost wreck in the Fort Lauderdale wreck-trek.  Even though it is a small wreck, it attracts a lot of marine life.  A Nurse Shark has made this wreck its home, so be sure to look for him.


Wreck of the Peter McAllister

  • Location: Fort Lauderdale
  • Coordinates: 26.10184’ N & 80.04706’ W
  • Depth: 75’ to the sand
  • Description: The Peter McAllister is a 85-foot tug boat that was sunk as part of the Artificial Reef in 1998. This tugboat, along with the Donald G. McAllister, was donated by the McAllister Towing Co. from New York City. This fully intact wreck attracts plenty of reef-fish and the occasional school of larger fish.

Wreck of the Captain Ramone

  • Location: Hallandale
  • Depth: 65’ to the sand
  • Description: This is a wreck of local knowledge and only a few know how to find it.  It is a small barge that was sunk and sits in about 65 feet of water. Even though it is a small wreck, it attracts tons of marine life as it is a rather old wreck.  Great dive for small groups.

Wendy Rossheim (Our House III)

  • Location: Fort Lauderdale
  • Coordinates: 26.09183’ N & 80.0482’ W
  • Depth: 65’ to the sand
  • Description: This wreck is a 118-foot motor yacht.  It was built in 1947 and sunk in 1993.  It lies 100 feet south of the Robert Edmister and was severely damaged by Hurricane Andrew.  There is a lot of marine life at this site.  A line connects the Edmister and the Wendy.

The Pride and The Moonshot Wrecks

  • Location: Fort Lauderdale
  • Depth: 70’ to the sand
  • Description: The Pride is a 95 foot sail boat that was sunk in 1987 and it sits right next to the Moonshot, a 54 foot steel boat.  These wrecks are just 100 feet south of the Scutti and are the first wrecks of the Fort Lauderdale wreck-trek. The typical reef-fish community flourishes on these wrecks.

 

For Safe Diving And Snorkeling The Following Cautions Should Be Considered:
  1. By State law every diver and snorkeler must trail a bright, dive flag so boaters can identify there are people in the water. Be sure your flag has sufficient height and buoyancy to prevent it being pulled under the surface where it would not be visible to boaters. Many divers and snorkelers attach snap hooks to their buoy so they can attach their lobster bags or nets. A snorkeling vest is highly recommended for snorkelers, especially if you feel tired.
  2. Always dive with a buddy.
  3. Watch your weather conditions- beware of strong currents and stormy weather. Some divers use the current to their advantage by getting dropped off up current and then drift dive over the reef. This enables divers to cover a large area with ease. To get yourself out of a rip current swim parallel to the beach and within 20 to 30 feet you will be released from it.
  4. Be a safe diver and dive with certified divers who have been certified through a recognized agency.

Please come in to Lauderdale Diver to purchase your flag and float as well as any other scuba or snorkeling equipment you may need. We also have a book describing all  the local dive and snorkeling sites from Hollywood to Jupiter, Florida.

Please call 954 467 2822 or email us getwet@lauderdalediver.com  to book your dive or snorkel trip or any further questions.