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The Ancient Mariner - USS Nemesis
Vessel - Cutter
Depth: 45'-72' Experience: Basic Open Water
Activity: Penetration - Navigation
Lat 26 18.110 Lon 80 03.700

This 165’ retired U.S. Coast Guard Cutter WWII submarine chaser had fallen on hard times as restaurant cruise ship and already having sunk at her dock twice before was finally decommissionned in 1991. Commissioned in 1934 from Point Pleasant, VA as the "USS Nemesis" the cutter performed coastal watch and lifesaving duties from her home port of St. Petersburg, FL her entire career within the USCG. The 337 ton, rivet steel ship (built before the time of welded steel ships) was permaently stationed in St. Petersburg, where she served and protected Florida. Although not the fastest ship in the fleet, she was perfectly designed for search and rescue missions in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic. The constant battering of hurricanes kept the "USS Nemesis" busy picking-up survivors from disabled and weather-beaten vessels, towing strickened ships to safety. From 1934 to 1942, she saved hundreds of lives, as well as, millions of dollars worth of property.

During WWII, the "USS Nemesis" was used for an entirely different purpose. As 1942 rolled in, German U-Boats were putting tremendous pressure on commercial shipping off the coast of U.S. Teritorial waters. These warships targeted oil tankers making their way from Texas and South America. The cutter was used as a Sub-Hunter. Classified with several encounters repelling the Germans she proved to be a very useful weapon against the Nazi U-Boats. After the war, she was again stationed in St. Petersburg, until her decommissioning in 1964.

In 1979, a local business bought the vessel and converted her into a floating restaurant and bar. However, the owner ran into financial problems and sold the vessel. The new owner renamed the ship as the "Ancient Mariner" and was rescheduled to reopen in 1981. This is when the story turns tragic and bizarre. Just before the scheduled reopening in 1981, she capsized and sank at the dock, for no apparent reason. It took more then $85,000.00 to re-float and renovate the water damaged restaurant vessel. Once again open, the "Ancient Mariner" became a popular eatery in the Fort Lauderdale area. In 1986, however, an event still remembered to this day by locals sealed her fate. More than 100 customers and restaurant employees contracted Hepatitus-A from an infected salad maker employed at the restaurant. This was the largest outbreak of Hepatitus-A in Florida's history. Today the running joke among Divers is to NOT eat any fish caught on the shipwreck just in case some of the virus is still around.

This Vessel is a piece of history in many ways yet today. She was sunk as an Artificial Reef Project on June 09, 1991 as part of the Broward County Reef Program. The 165 ft. Cutter rests in approximately 70 ft. of water. The "Ancient Mariner" is an excellent shipwreck for basic penetration, and basic or advance navigation. At her bow are several navigatable sites. A steel-hulled work boat named the "C-Note" sits 60 ft. NE at 90 degrees. At approximately 120 ft.NE at 150 degrees are two shipwrecks a small row boat and tug named the "Berry Patch". And at approximately 200 ft. NE at 220 degrees is the "Chuck-A-Luke II". ...To enjoy diving and navigating these sites come dive with AQUANAUTS SCUBA ACADEMY to
"Submerge Into Aquatic Adventures"
The Captain Dan - USS Hollyhock "Good News Missionship"
Vessel - Buoy Tender
Depth: 65'-110'
Experience: Advanced Open Water
Activity: Enriched Air Nitrox - Penetration - Navigation - Deep
Lat 26 13.857 Lon 80 03.960

Originally named the "Hollyhock", this 175 foot long ex-USCG buoy tender, then missionship "Good News Missionship" cruised the waters for a 53 year career as a Coast Guard service aid ship. Later renamed the "Captain Dan" was sunk as an artificial reef on February 20, 1990. Renamed in memory of CAPTAIN DAN GARNSEY, a long time Broward County resident owner of the drift fishing boat "Helen S. Garnsey" and beneficerary to the community. Dan Garnsey's tribute was the sinking of the "Captain Dan" within the same year of his passing. She now lies in 110 feet of water in a North / South direction. She is in an upright position and is easily penetrated. The "Captain Dan" is one of the areas most popular wrecks. Visability on the "Captain Dan" is generally very good with an average of 60 feet. However, it is susceptible to moderate to strong currents.

If you decide to take a dive on the "Captain Dan" you will not be disappointed. Having been down for a while and still completely intact; this wreck has ample growth on it accelerated by the constant currents; and sometimes in the engine room, you will find one of the areas local Goliath Groupers. If you scare them, you can feel the water rattle as they create a loud booming noise... Visability on her is so good that most days you will be able to see the entire wreck as you submerge. Prepared for penetration she has large access holes of opportunity to easily navigate. She is definitely a jewel of Florida's "Wreck Alley" as the "Gold Coast" is the number #1 dive destination within the continental United States. The "Captain Dan" lies at the limit of recreational diving. She makes a good practice dive for Advanced, Enriched, Technical, and Extended Range divers. She is deep enough to practice the ins and outs of the ups and downs and still get decent bottom time as a NO Decompression dive.
The Rodeo 25
Vessel - Cargo Freighter
Depth: 80'-130' Experience: Advanced Open Water
Activity: Penetration - Enriched Air Nitrox - Trimix - Technical Diving
Lat 26 13.878 Lon 80 03.813

Resting on a sandy bottom in 127 ft., the "Rodeo 25" stands upright to its highest point in 50 ft. of clear blue water. This 214 ft. Cargo Freighter is a spectacular site for the Advanced Divers and was made diver-safe in 1990 when it was sunk off shore to celebrate the Pompano Beach Fishing Rodeo. Covered with soft corals and sponges, and surrounded by schooling fish, the graceful Eagle Ray has even been known to make an appearance. Spear fishermen frequent this spot for her abundant Jacks and Grouper. Built in 1956, this Dutch freighter is 215 feet long and has a 33 foot beam. On May 12, 1990, this wreck was renamed the "Rodeo 25" in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Pompano Beach Fishing Rodeo. She was sunk while almost 100,000 spectators watched.

Today, this twin masted freighter sits upright in approximately 130 ft. of water. The main deck is at 100 ft. of water and the masts rise to within 52 ft. of the surface. The "Rodeo 25" lies at the limit of recreational diving. She makes a good practice dive for Advanced, Enriched, Technical, and Extended Range divers. She is deep enough to practice the ins and outs of the ups and downs and still get decent bottom time as a NO-Decompression dive.
The Hydro Atlantic
Depth: 125'-175' Experience: Technical

On December 7, 1987, a ship of huge proportions sank in a storm just one mile east of the Boca Raton Inlet. The ship was being towed to Brownsville, Texas where it was to be salvaged. Instead it sank on our door step and was discovered one month later by Captain David Turbeville. Today the Hydro Atlantic is considered to be one of the 10 best dives in the United States. Lying in 172 feet of water, the 320 foot long freighter is a real ship wreck, not a diver prepared, artificial reef wreck. A huge crane stands mid ship, with one of the ship's main anchors at its base. The winch is still on the bow and the engine is still in the engine room. Her deck is still crowded with equipment. Pipes that traverses the old hull from one pump to another. Cranes and giant winches still laden with cables. Barely recognizable, they are all covered with a thick blanket of coral, sponge and soft corals, like those in the picture above. Thousand of tropical fish dart in and out of every pipe and porthole seeking shelter from predators, while barracuda and shark lurk in the distant shadows. Rope, cable and fishing line cover almost every inch of the wreck. Years of strong currents, the effects of saltwater erosion and the immense growth of corals have all taken their toll on the ship's structure. Some walls of the superstructure have collapsed and the hull has started to crush under the weight of its deck and machinery providing new access to inner passages. As a true wreck, equipment intact, with such of abundance of growth and so many opportunity for penetration, the Hydro Atlantic is one the best wrecks in Florida and is a must for the serious wreck diver.
The Noula Express
Depth: 50'-80' Experience: Advanced

This wreck holds many 'firsts' in her past. She was the first freighter to be sunk in the area, the first joint effort by the two counties in the artificial reef program. She was the first artificial to be scuttled rather than blown up. From 1988 to 1992 her open hold, and easily navigated lower levels, made her a popular site for night wreck diving. That all changed in August of 1992 when Hurricane Andrew broke the steel hulled ship in three pieces and scattered her about the ocean floor a small bit. Near the bow is the remains of the "Drug Sub", designed to be towed submerged behind a boat, it was discovered before it could smuggle it’s first load of drugs into the country. it was welded shut and sunk next to the Noula but when the hurricane broke up the wreck, it bounced the bow on the sub and crushed it flat.

The Sea Emperor / "Aqua Zoo"
Depth: 45'-70' Experience: Open Water

The shallow draft barge loaded with concrete pipe and debris heeled over as she sunk and scattered the cargo around the bottom where she lay upside down.

The Sea Emperor lost her load of concrete culverts as she listed while on her final approach to her final resting place. These concrete pipes are home to a number of critters that have taken up residency on the Sea Emperor. There are 2 green Morey eels, a plethora of Sting rays, a pair of 400lb Golith Groupers, and some nurse sharks that inhabit this wreck. In addition to the local residents, you can often see turtles and schools of fish, especially yellow tail snappers. You can also follow the trail of rocks that leads to another wreck called the United Caribbean.

The "Aqua Zoo" is the nickname for an area next to the wreck of the Sea Emperor (see Sea Emperor description). It was given this name for the diversity and size of marine life that inhabits this wreck. We began bringing food and interacting with one stingray in 1996 and since then it has blossomed into the "Aqua Zoo". We offer an interactive marine experience including large southern rays, Goliath Groupers (200-300 lbs.), nurse sharks, eels and hundreds of other fish. No longer due you need to travel to far off destinations.Named "The stingray dive you can drive to" by Skin Diver Magazine. The Aqua Zoo has also been featured on numerous television shows around the world including "Wild Things" and "Adventure Crazy".

The Union Express
Depth: 84'-110' Experience: Advanced

1 1/2 miles due east of the Pompano Pier on the outside edge of the third reef. About 1,000 feet north of the Rodeo 25. A 170-foot Dutch coastal freighter sits on her side broke in in two major pieces bow and stern in 110 feet of sand facing north. The vessel spent its short life in the northern seas; then later carried food in the Caribbean and down the South American coast. She was confiscated by the U.S. Customs from running drugs and later purchased to become an artificial reef.
The RSB1
Depth: 70'-110' Experience: Advanced

Resting on a sandy bottom in 110 ft., the RSB1 stands upright to its highest point in 73 ft. of clear blue water. This 160 ft. vessel is a spectacular site for the advanced diver. With its twin stacks and the antenna arays still intact, the RSB1 is an awesome site to tak in as you decend. The RSB1 is covered with soft corals and sponges and surrounded by schooling fish. Spear fishermen frequent this spot for her abundent Jacks and Grouper. Because it is a smaller wreck, it is not as frequently dived, and has a substantial amount of growth on it.
The Mariner II Tug
Depth: 70'-125' Experience: Advanced

Located 1 1/2 miles due east of Pompano Pier inside the Rodeo Artificial Reef site. Two vessels, the oceangoing 110-foot steel tug Mary St. Phillips and a 130-foot barge, were deployed as artificial reef sites in May 1993. Both rest in 110 feet of water. As on most mature wrecks, the sportfish come in to feed on the baitfish that gather on the wreck. the bigger fish are usually spooky and flee the wreck or into the interior with the approachig diver. Therte are colorful tropicals, grunts and snappers as well as larger fish such as grouper and amberjacks.
The Guy Harvey
Depth: 125'-175'' Experience: Technical

The Guy Harvey is our newest ship wreck. Built in Holland in 1957, this 185 foot freighter spent the last of her 10 years sailing between Haiti and the Lesser Antilles as the Lady Kimberly. She was sunk in 145 feet of water on May 10, 1997 courtesy of Guy Harvey and the Pompano Fishing Rodeo.

Like most new wrecks, the Guy Harvey will take time to develop as an artificial reef site. First will come the soft coral and sponge growth, then the schools of small fish looking for shelter, and finally, big fish looking for small fish.
Depth: 125'-175'' Experience: Technical

On May 18, 1986, a 130 foot US Army dredge, the Corey N Chris, was sunk in 260 feet of water as part of the Broward County artificial reef program. Then, on May 15, 1988, a 226 foot freighter, the Ronald B. Johnson, was sunk as part of the same program.

The R.B.J. landed, by accident, right on top of the Corey N Chris perpendicular to it. Today, these wrecks sit upright in 260 feet of water.
The Rebel
Depth: 78'-105' Experience: Advanced

Five mile from Port Everglades Cut, just outside the third reef line, approximately a mile and a half from shore. During the summer of 1985, a 150-foot Norwegian freighter, built in 1947, was placed in the sea floor to become another spectacular artificial reef site. Her original name Andrea was changed to the Rebel. She sits upright and perfectly intact. The main deck of the ship is at approximately 85 feet. This open wreck is easily penetrated. This wreck is covered with algae and is frequented by jacks, barracuda, and large grouper. There was once a large mast which has since broken amd fallen, and two large booms are splayed across the cargo holds. The prop remains intact and the hull is full of fish and spiny oysters.
The Jim Atria
Depth: 70'-135'' Experience: Advanced

In September 1987, the Broward County Artificial Reef Program sank the 240-foot Dutch freighter Poinciana, built in 1961 on her port side in 110 feet of water. The name was then changed to Jim Atria, after Jim Atria who is a Broward County developer, diver and sport fisherman.

In 1992, Hurricane Andrew moved the ship more than 1/4 mile offshore and sitting upright to a depth of 135 feet. Her 2 masts are intact, rise to 70 feet, the highest point of the wreck and are covered by various corals and sea fans, providing great photo opportunities when ascending from the main deck. Other beautiful spots for memorable shots are the corner of the main deck as it meets the wheelhouse on the starboard side which, in itself is covered with staggering growth, and several open hatches adorned with tremendous growth. Wreck divers are invited to explore the inside of several openings at the wheelhouse at 95 feet. For the naturalist, Black Groupers, and Hogfish can be found under the hull at the sand, Glassy Sweepers and Squirrelfish in the cargo hold, thousands of Snappers and Grunts hiding in nooks, schools of Barracuda hovering as you descend and Amberjacks speeding through thousands of swimming baitfish above. Occasionally, you might see a spotted eagle ray glide by.
Twelve years of growth has made for a beautiful site, teeming with sea life, a favorite among local divers, standing out as one of the best.
The Tracy/Ken Vitale
Depth: 70'-78' Experience: Open Water

The Tracy was sunk in 1998 in 70' feet of water and lies upright. It is attached to the Jay Scutti by a chain, with a well planned dive it is possible to see both wrecks, but make sure you take your air consumption into consideration as the Jay Scutti is about 100'-150' away.
Ken Vitale was a well known instructor that died of a heart attack after one dive. On the wreck there is a plaque honoring this well liked local diver. This wreck is very popular for wreck diving classes with easy penetration into the wreck. The inside is dark and requires lights, however, it is quite large and spacious inside. You will feel fairly open in this wreck, and it is very clean of any debris.
The Edmister
Depth: 45'-74' Experience: Open Water

She is a 95 foot steel U.S.Coast Guard cutter. She was built in 1953 and designed to handle port security and search and rescue operations.

Located at 300 yards due south of the Jay Scutti. Approximately one mile offshore. The 95-foot Coast Guard Cutter Cape Gull was sunk on December 1989 in 70 feet of water.

After being decommissioned, she was purchased by Dale Scutti at a federal auction in 1989, and sunk as an artificial reef in memorial to Robert Edmister, an ocean environmentalist and local scuba diver.

The Robert Edmister rests in a sandy area facing north and south and listing slightly to starboard. You can reach her top at 45 feet and the port deck sits at 57 feet while the starboard deck is at 66 feet, making this an excellent first wreck dive for novices.

A 118-foot motor yacht Our House III, built in 1947 and sunk in 1993, lies 100 feet south of the Robert Edmister. This vessel was severely damaged by Andrew in August of the same year.
The Mercedes
Depth: 60'-100' Experience: Advanced

Wealthy Palm Beach socialite Molly Wilmott had her Thanksgiving night ruined in 1983, when the 197’ coastal freighter "Merceedes I" lost her anchor and ran aground against the seawall of her exclusive Palm Beach seaside mansion, littering her back yard with crewmen, scurrying about frantically. The weeks of ensuing efforts trying to pull the stubborn ship off the beach gave the national and international press enough time to make the ship’s name almost a household word for a while.

Broward pulled off a public relations coup when she acquired the vessel from under the nose' of Palm Beach artificial reef groups, and put her down in 110’ of water off Fort Lauderdale in the Spring of 1984. This mishap started a chain of events that became the golden days of our artificial reef program. The day the Merceedes I went down, she was surrounded by hundreds of boats of every size and skill level of captain. At least one 50 cigarette boat was swamped and sunk at anchor before the festivities began. As the explosion was ripping six holes in her belly, hundreds of gallons of ether and other chemicals were throwing an orange fireball over a hundred feet skyward. By the time the smoke cleared, the ship was fast on her way to the bottom. She went down in just over a minute. Chaos erupted the next few days as every commercial dive boat in the area was scrambling to get their charters on the boat at the same time. In the first few weeks, artifact collectors were deafening other divers with their pneumatic hammers and chisels taking portholes and anything else they could find. Fortunately (?), the wreck was stripped quickly so the noise abated, and the county quickly reacted by sinking the "Rebel" a few months later, giving the divers somewhere else to go. They also had options on other vessels that had been impounded or abandoned and were clogging up the docks along the Miami River.

Today, the Merceedes I remains as the most famous of the area wrecks, the Grand Dame has suffered the ravages of time and Hurricane Andrew with all the dignity she could muster. Broken apart, and with her wheelhouse all but a memory, her combination of open holds and twisted metal left by the storm, support a vast diversity of sea life. And, as an added feature to the site, it seems to be in the migratory path of whale sharks which gives divers quite an unexpected thrill in certain months.
The Tenneco Towers
Depth: 70'-110' Experience: Advanced

At the southernmost point of the county, sunk in 1985 by the Tenneco Oil Company, the decommissioned oil platform Tenneco was hauled from the Gulf of Mexico on a massive barge and deployed in three sections, each one a little deeper than the other, in a straight east-west line.

Watching the sinking, replete with a small compliment of cranes, tenders and boats from all kinds of imaginable government agency, took too long to hold the attention of cheering crowds, so the “Towers” went down with little fanfare or ceremony. However, once they were on the bottom, they became on of the best dive sites in the Southeastern United States. Without hulls, or bulkheads, the skeletal structures rose off the sea floor and provided huge areas of hard substrate for corals to 'grab' onto, yet at the same time allowed the tides and currents to flow through and around every strut and support beam and promoted almost instant growth.

Home to schools of jacks and other good sized fish, they are often visited by pelagic, or open ocean, fish, large schooling Tarpon, and occasionally sharks.The structure has been hailed as the best fish attracting device ever deployed in the state. Hurricane Andrew was not kind to the Tenneco Towers, it took one of the platform sections and drug it completely away from the site and if it’s whereabouts are known, it is not on any commercial chart, nor is it visited by any divers, the fish have that one all to themselves. The other two sections were pushed together, almost leaning on each other and outside of looking disheveled, they continue to do an excellent job attracting fish and delighting the diver. If you own an underwater camera, bring it, otherwise you will probably wind up kicking yourself. Most of the 'good stuff' goes down to around 90' and it is a superb night dive. The colors here are fantastic, including the yellow cup corals, and the red encrusting coral.
The Bud Bar
Depth: 75'-95' Experience: Advanced

This 165ft German freighter, built about 1962. She lies in sand, with sea whips projecting from bottom.
The Miller Light
Depth: 100'-165' Experience: Technical

The Miller Lite is approximately 170ft long, with the bow pointing SE. There is usually large schools of Jacks circling the wreck. This is a great wreck for Tech training. Beware of fishing line, come prepared.
The Copenhagen
Depth: 20'-30' Experience: Open Water

The SS Copenhagen was a 325 ft. coal freighter that ran aground off the shores of Pompano Beach on May 26, 1900. She was carrying 4,940 tons of coal on voyage from Philadelphia to Havana. Although the ship was unsalvageable, her cargo was saved. The Copenhagen remained partially visible above the water until WWII naval fighter pilots used her for target practice sending her to the bottom where she sits today. The Copenhagen was declared a State Underwater Archaeological Preserve in 1994.
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