Reefs & Wrecks

Local Reefs

Emerald Reef

Avg Depth: 15 ft. / 5m
Max Depth: 25 ft. / 8m
Skill Level: Novice
Features:
• Coral Reef
• Good Snorkeling

Emerald Reef is a small shallow-water patch reef one mile east of Key Biscayne. It’s considered by many to be one of the most beautiful reefs in Miami, rivaling those found further south in the Florida Keys.

The reefs are in 10 to 20 feet of water and support living elkhorn and pillar coral, a variety of sponges, and schools of juvenile tropicals. The clarity and color of the water makes this a spectacular snorkel or dive location. Please protect our reefs and dive carefully.

Long Reef
Located in water ranging in depth from 20 to 60 feet in areas, this large reef runs parallel to Elliot Key. The wreck of the Alicia lies here in 20 feet of water.
Wreck
N 25° 26.630′ W 080° 07.200′
30 FT 9 M
60 FT 18 M
Intermediate
Neptune Memorial Reef
Located in 50 feet of water about 3 ¼ miles from Key Biscayne, this underwater cemetery provides a wonderful dive opportunity for divers of all skill ranges. The largest man-made reef ever conceived and the most imaginative concept based on recreating the lost city of Atlantis.
Wreck
N 25° 42.044′ W 080° 05.391′
35 FT 11 M
45 FT 14 M
Novice

Local Wrecks

Sheri-Lynn

Avg Depth: 75 ft. / 23m
Max Depth: 90 ft. / 27m
Skill Level: Advanced
Features:
• Artificial Reef
• Wreck Site

In 90 feet of water lays Sheri-Lynn, a 235-foot freighter. It took 400 pounds of high-explosives to bring this ship down. Dutch-built, she carried a small crew as she was launched in 1952 and used for shipping. When she had been docked for several years without use, it was assumed that this ship was abandoned and ownership was gained by the Department of Environmental Resource Management.

The vessel took a hard hit from Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and was spread across a wide area. Her bow lies 60 feet away from the rest of the wreck. This allowed for increased marine life to inhabit the remains. Although prior to this she was intact and upright, she now has a larger variety of sea life. She has many foot holes cut through bulkheads that allow for exploration. South of the bow lies 50 Chevron tanks, each 30 feet long and 8 feet in diameter with the ends cut off. Twenty cement-mixer tanks also lie near by. The variety of wreckage provides home to large amounts of pelagic life.

 

DEMA Trader

Avg Depth: 70 ft. / 21m
Max Depth: 80 ft. / 24m
Skill Level: Intermediate
Features:
• Artificial Reef
• Wreck Site

The DEMA Trader (formerly known as the GGD Trader) is a 165-foot-long freighter in 80 feet of water about 3 1/2 miles off Key Biscayne.

The ship was seized by U.S. Customs for carrying drugs, and was renamed DEMA Trader after the Dive Equipment and Marketing Association annual convention held in Miami Beach on October of 2003. She was sunk October 28, 2003.

The ship is keel down in the sand with the stern lying in 80 feet of water and the bow in 75 feet of water. Large openings were cut in the sides of the superstructure to allow safe penetration dives into the former galley and cabin areas. Tons of concrete culvert pipes and junction boxes were loaded into the ship’s cargo hold, creating ballast in case of storms, and providing more habitat than just an open cargo hold.

The ship has a large profile making it easy to find with a decent fish finder. Most of the dive can be seen at 60 feet of water. Great dive!

 

Biscayne Freighter

Avg Depth: 50 ft. / 15m
Max Depth: 60 ft. / 18m
Skill Level: Intermediate
Features:
• Artificial Reef
• Wreck Site

The Biscayne Wreck is located 4.5 miles east of Key Biscayne and was a well-kept fisherman’s secret from 1974 to 1980. This 120-foot ship was often referred to as the “Banana Freighter” because it was used to transport bananas between the Caribbean Islands and from Central America. It was later confiscated for financial reasons and bought by fisherman who desired to sink it for themselves 250-feet down. When it was being towed, strong winds blew this vessel and landed it in only 55 feet of water.

Because of this shallow sinking, this site became a great location for divers. Because of depth and the coral covered hull, this is a great location for night diving. Penetration can be done in the cargo hold where bait fish often reside. The picturesque colors and variety of sea life make this a great site for photography. The stern and starboard sections of the wreck have collapsed. However, the decades of growth leave this site fully inhabited with sea life and a great dive for beginning wreck divers or slightly more advanced divers.

 

Rio Miami

Avg Depth: 50 ft. / 15m
Max Depth: 80 ft. / 24m
Skill Level: Intermediate
Features:
• Artificial Reef
• Wreck Site

Rio Miami was featured on a 1989 episode of 20/20 where Hugh Downs detonated the ship for sinking and dove the site less than 24 hours later. The remote-controlled detonation with which Downs sunk the ship was the first of this type to be used. The publicity brought some popularity to this location.

Today, this 105-foot tug lies in 72 feet of water after being shifted by Hurricane Andrew. She is upright and her cabin and ladders are intact and rise up to 30 feet from the surface. This is one of the most intact wrecks in the area and is easily penetrated.

Barracudas, angelfish, jewfish, grunts, yellowtails, colorful sponges, sea fans and many forms of hard and soft corals are just some of the beautiful organisms that can be seen on this dive.

Almirante
Located in 110-140 feet just south of Elliot Key, the wreck is in the northern part of Biscayne National Park. Experienced divers only.
Wreck
N 25° 24.980′ W 080° 07.050′
110 FT 34 M
135 FT 41 M
Advanced
Half Moon Preserve
Located in only 10 feet of water, about 75 yards northwest of the red marker (#2) from the Bear Cut Channel. This 154 foot sailing yacht sank in 1930. It is now an Underwater Archaeological Preserve within Biscayne National Park.
Wreck
N 25° 43.654′ W 080° 08.069′
10 FT 3 M
10 FT 3 M
Novice
Orion
Located in 95 feet of water, 3 miles off Key Biscayne, this is one of the best dive sites in Miami. The Gulf Stream brings strong currents to the site. Due to current, depth and penetration of the wreck, this is classed as an intermediate dive site.
Wreck
N 25° 41.460′ W 080° 05.180′
75 FT 23 M
95 FT 29 M
Advanced