PALM BEACH WRECK AND ARTIFICIAL REEF SITES
Discover Palm Beach wreck diving as you drift… wrecks in excess of 400-feet… multiple wrecks on one dive… big game… great visibility… active artificial reef program…
Palm Beach Counties newest artificial reef. The Danny sunk February 22nd, 2013 just north of the Lake Worth Inlet due to the combined efforts of the McCauley Family, Palm Beach County Diving Association, and Palm Beach County Artificial Reef Program. This 130ft ice class tug sits in 85ft of water and is now home to Goliath grouper, tropical fish and new sponge growth. Forever known as the Danny McCauley Memorial Reef, this wreck memorializes the short life of a local teen and is already a local favorite. Follow the link for video of the sinking and check it out for yourself!
In February 2002, Palm Beach County’s Artificial Reef Program expanded with the intentional sinking of the Shasha Boekanier. Known as the Shasha to local divers, this 184-foot coastal freighter was the first of three former drug smuggling vessels seized and sunk off Palm Beach County. Following the Shasha was the St. Jacques (180-foot) and the Gilbert Sea (170-foot).
Almost as a gift to divers, Palm Beach County added the Thozina to Governor’s Riverwalk Reef in December 2002. This 174-foot coastal freighter was donated to Palm Beach County’s Artificial Reef Program, and now lies with the others in 90-feet of water. The wrecks are quickly becoming a haven for game and tropical fish as they rapidly become overgrown with coral and algae.
As a dive site, Governor’s Riverwalk Reef is an excellent training site for advanced recreational and introductory technical training.
This is definitely one of the best dives in Palm Beach County. The bulk of the corridor is composed of three wrecks (Mizpah, PC1170, and Amaryllis) that line up to form an amazing 1700 foot drift dive. The first wreck, the Mizpah, was sunk in 1968 and lies in ~85 feet of water just a few minutes north of the inlet. She’s a 185ft Greek luxury liner, showcasing three distinct levels that Goliath grouper love to congregate in. Next in line is the PC1174, an old patrol craft measuring 160ft in length. Also sunk in 1968, the PC1174 is split in two pieces under the bow of the Mizpah. Following a large rock pile, the Amaryllis is the third in line on this dive. Only the hull and bottom deck of this 450 foot ship remain as the other decks were removed to salvage the boat after it washed ashore during a hurricane. The China Barge is the fourth in line on this amazing site, although most divers don’t reach it before needing to ascend. As a dive site, The Corridor is an excellent training site for advanced, deep, and wreck specialties.
This 350 foot car ferry used to carry over 200 passengers and cars over the Chesapeake Bay. Sunk in the early 1990’s, this wreck sits in 100-110 feet of water and is home to large schools of jacks, barracudas, groupers, and the occasional bull shark. The last few hurricanes broke apart some of the super structure on the Princess Anne, but there’s still an amazing reef just north of the wreck that makes this site a must-see. Be prepared to fly like superman as this site usually has quite a strong current.
Located just a few minutes south of the inlet, this freighter (also called the Owens) sits in close proximity to the Phillips Barge and the Rolls-Royce. This area is home to many Goliath Grouper, and several shark species frequent the area. This dive site is also referred to as the Triangle. The site is best on a low-current day allowing divers to travel back and forth between the wreck, the barge and the Rolls-Royce.
Spearman’s Barge comes complete with it’s own local murder mystery. Located on top of Mid-Reef, a popular reef dive, this wreck sits in about 70 feet of water and is home to a variety of fish species. Hawksbill and loggerhead turtles are frequent visitors and green moray eels are regularly spotted here. Photographers love this site! Check out a video from this amazing site!
Toybox and Playpen
This dive site begins as you drift onto a large barge sitting perpendicular to the current in 60 feet of water. It’s filled with large boulders which hawksbill turtles love to frequent. Goliaths and the occasional bull shark frequent this wreck. Following the wreck is the Playpen, an artificial reef composed of concrete culverts and telephone poles. Divers always report schools of barracuda, colorful tropical fish, and droves of spiny lobsters. Here’s a sample dive report from this site!
Located north of the inlet, this site rests in 85ft of water and is spectacular! The dive site starts with massive rubble piles from the demolition of the Royal Park Bridge. As you drift along the ruins, look for Goliath groupers, eels and turtles hiding around every corner. As you drift left and west, you’ll come to the Spud Barge at the end of the site. This barge sits upon rock piles and hosts of hundreds of Goliath Groupers during the fall spawning season. The exposed cross beams of the wreck provide the divers the opportunity to swim through from one side to the other. An exceptional site for advanced and wreck diving students. Check out the video!