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Local Reefs and Wrecks
 

Emerald Reef

  • Avg Depth: 20ft / 6m

  • Max Depth: 30ft / 9m

  • Certification Level: Open Water

  • Features: Reef & Wreck 

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 tropical fish. The clarity and color of the water make this a spectacular snorkel or dive location. Please protect our reefs and dive consciously! 

 

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.

  • Avg Depth: 30ft / 9m

  • Max Depth: 60ft / 18m

  • Certification Level: Open Water

  • Features: Reef & Wreck

Neptune Memorial Reef

Located in 50 feet of water about 3 1⁄4 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.

  • Avg Depth: 15ft / 5m 

  • Max Depth: 45ft / 14m 

  • Certification Level: Open Water 

  • Features: Coral Reef & Good Snorkeling 

Local Wrecks 

Half Moon Preserve

 

  • Max Depth:10ft / 3m

  • Certification Level: Open Water 

  • Features: Artificial Reef & Wreck

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.

Biscayne Freighter
 

  • Avg Depth: 50ft / 15m

  • Max Depth: 60ft / 28m

  • Certification Level: Advanced Open Water 

  • Features: Artificial Reef & Wreck 

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 the 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 baitfish 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: 50ft / 15m

  • Max Depth: 80ft / 24m

  • Certification Level: Advanced Open Water Certification

  • Features: Artificial Reef & Wreck

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.

DEMA Trader

 

  • Avg Depth: 70ft / 21m

  • Max Depth: 80ft / 24m

  • Certification Level: Advanced Open Water 

  • Features: Artificial Reef & Wreck 

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!

 

Sheri-Lynn

  • Avg Depth: 75ft / 23m

  • Max Depth: 90ft / 27m

  • Certification Level: Advanced Open Water

  • Features: Artificial Reef & Wreck

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 nearby. The variety of wreckage provides a home to large amounts of pelagic life.

The Princess Britney

  • Max Depth: 90ft / 27.5m 

  • Certification Level: Advanced Open Water & Deep Specialty 

  • Features: Artificial Reef & Wreck

 

A one-time drug-smuggling ship is now South Florida’s newest artificial reef. U.S. Customs seized the 165-foot Princess Britney during Operation River Walk when they say they found 156 kilograms of cocaine hidden underneath the deck of the engine room. The Princess Britney was sunk around 3.5 miles off the coast of Key Biscayne. The ship came to rest on a sandy bottom about 90 feet below the surface.

Orion

  • Avg Depth: 75ft/ 23m 

  • Max Depth: 95ft / 29m

  • Certification Level: Advanced Open Water

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.

The Andro

  • Max Depth: 105ft / 32m

  • Certification Level: Advanced Open Water & Deep Specialty 

  • Features: Artificial Reef & Wreck 

The Andro, a 165′ vessel, was originally built as a luxury yacht in 1910. Sunk in 105′ of water in December, 1985. Hurricane Andrew ripped it into a few pieces making it much more interesting, but, at the same time, extremely dangerous. A popular place for local fishermen makes it hard, sometimes, to get divers on the site.

Tenneco Towers

  • Max Depth: 105ft / 32m

  • Certification Level: Advanced Open Water & Deep Specialty 

  • Features: Artificial Reef & Wreck 

Known locally as Tenneco Towers. Placed at their current location in October, 1985. Tenneco Towers is considered the northernmost dive site for dive operators located in Miami and the most popular dive site on the Southeast coast. The oil rigs were originally used in the Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas exploration. Tenneco Oil Co. (at their own expense) brought the towers by barge around the Florida Keys and placed them at their present site. The area consists of 3 sites: West Tenneco at 110′ depth, relief of approx. 35′, Middle Tenneco at 120′ depth, approx. 35′ of relief and Deep Tenneco at a depth of 190′ and 185′, 2 towers separated east to west 100′ with approx. 60′ of relief. The towers are home to several hundred species of fish as well as corals and numerous large fish. The platforms are covered with orange cup coral and are frequented by bull sharks, barracuda and amberjack.

Ophelia Brian

  • Max Depth: 110ft / 33.5m

  • Certification Level: Advanced Open Water & Deep Specialty 

  • Features: Artificial Reef & Wreck 

The 210 foot freighter, built in 1965 by J.J. Sietas in Hamburg, Germany christened Hoheburg and lastly called Sea Taxi, has become Ophelia Brian sunk off Key Biscayne on the 30th of December 2009. The artificial reef created by the wrecksite will provide recreational diving, ecotourism and fishing to the residents of Miami-Dade County and visitors from all over the world. MIRA’s purchase of Ophelia Brian was made possible by a generous donation from long time customers of South Beach Divers, the Brian and Lavinia Snyder Foundation. They have chosen to rename the wreck after their daughter, Ophelia, for her eighteenth birthday this year. The Ophelia Brian artificial reef site will assist in diverting diving and fishing pressure from natural coral reefs in the area.

The Blue Fire

  • Max Depth: 110ft / 33.5m

  • Certification Level: Advanced Open Water & Deep Specialty 

  • Features: Artificial Reef & Wreck 

One of the most Southern Wrecks we dive from Miami, The Blue fire was sunk Jan 1983. She is 175′ and full of life. Having been underwater for over 20 years, there is incredible life on this wreck. Photographers can expect many large fish including Jacks, snapper, Jewfish, cobia and barracuda for great shots and macro photographers will go crazy with the thousands of critters that have made the Blue Fire their home. Nitrox divers can enjoy bottom times of up to 29 minutes on this dive.

The Tortuga

  • Max Depth: 117ft / 35.5m

  • Certification Level: Advanced Open Water & Deep Specialty 

  • Features: Artificial Reef & Wreck 

The Tortuga was sunk in April, 1995 for the movie Fair Game. The 165′ freighter sits in 117′ of water, you can hit the deck at about 90′. Used in the final scene of the movie where it blows up is the actual sinking supervised by DERM. This vessel is the absolute best penetration wreck we have. Lots of fun for the trained and certified wreck diver, it offers a great training ground for wreck diving instructors. Tons of new growth. Very popular deep dive for everyone.

Tacoma

  • Max Depth: 125ft /38m

  • Certification Level: Advanced Open Water & Deep Specialty 

  • Features: Artificial Reef & Wreck 

 

The Tacoma was sunk in Feb 2002 and is a 165′ Steel Freighter with a 20 relief. The wreck is in excellent condition and is fully in tact. As this wreck is not ferquented by local dive operators, there is a great chance you will see big game fish on this wreck.

Ultra Freeze

  • Max Depth: 125ft /38m

  • Certification Level: Advanced Open Water & Deep Specialty 

  • Features: Artificial Reef & Wreck 

 

The Ultra Freeze ia a steeled hulled, 195′ freighter with 45 feet of superstructure still attached. The Ultrafreeze in located in the RJ Diving Ventures Site just a few miles off the shore of Miami Beach. Due to her depth, this is for divers holding advanced certification or higher. On most days you will see amberjack, barracuda, jacks, tarpon, snook and dozens of varieties of tropical fish.

Narwal

  • Max Depth: 126ft /38.5m

  • Certification Level: Advanced Open Water & Deep Specialty 

  • Features: Artificial Reef & Wreck 

 

The Narwal is a 137′ steel freighter was sunk in 126′ of water in April, 1986. Hurricane Andrew broke the vessel in half and moved it to water 10′ deeper than it originally was. This is where we usually end up when we can’t get on the Andro as it’s pretty close by. An excellent dive, can be affected by strong current as are most wrecks at the 100′ depth line in this area.

Brandy Wine

  • Max Depth: 135ft /41m

  • Certification Level: Technical

  • Features: Artificial Reef & Wreck 

 

The Brandy Wine is 135′ frighter seized by US Customs and was sunk in July of 2001. Due to its depth and size it isn’t a dive that is frequently dove.

Deep Freeze

  • Max Depth: 135ft /41m

  • Certification Level: Technical

  • Features: Artificial Reef & Wreck 

 

The Deep Freeze is one of our most popular advanced dives. The 210′ freighter lies in 135′ of water. Fairly strong current is the norm here. Relief of about 25′. As one of Miami’s oldest wrecks, she was sunk in October, 1976. Excellent penetration for experienced wreck divers. Popular spot for local spear fishermen. Slight damage from hurricane Andrew.

Almirante

  • Avg Depth: 110ft / 34m 

  • Max Depth: 135ft / 41m 

  • Certification Level: Technical

  • Features: Artificial Reef & Wreck

Located in 110-140 feet just south of Elliot Key, the wreck is in the northern part of Biscayne National Park. The Almirante is a 200 foot steel ship sunk in April 1975. This wreck was concidered the ‘Queen of Miami’. It was sunk by the Dade Sports Commission off of Elliott Key. In 1992, the keel was twisted badly by Hurricane Andrew but it is still an excellent dive. Since it has been underwater for over 30 years the amount of growth and aquatic life is breathtaking.

Miguana

  • Max Depth: 135ft / 41m 

  • Certification Level: Technical

  • Features: Artificial Reef & Wreck 

 

The Miguana is a 100′ Frighter Seized by US Customs and sunk in July 2001. Due to its depth and size it isn’t a dive that is frequently dove.

Doc de Mille

  • Max Depth: 140ft / 42.5m 

  • Certification Level: Technical

  • Features: Artificial Reef & Wreck 

 

An awesome wreck dive! The Doc de Milly is 287′ in length with a 50′ relief. This wreck has many resident fish due to the fact that she is not frequently dove due to her distance from Miami. We dive this wreck on special occasions and sometimes on long weekends we will do an all day trip starting at The Doc’. This is an advanced dive and requires previous deep diving experience.

Lakeland

  • Max Depth: 142ft / 43m 

  • Certification Level: Technical

  • Features: Artificial Reef & Wreck 

 

Located just South East of the Orion, The Lakeland was sunk June 1982. She is a 200′ steel freighter with a 25′ relief. Her depth puts her just beyond the sport diving limits but she is a great wreck to get into technical diving. Expect to see large Goliath Groupers, huge green moray eels, and lots of tarpon and schoolmaster snapper.

Etoile de Mer

  • Max Depth: 150ft / 46m 

  • Certification Level: Technical

  • Features: Artificial Reef & Wreck 

 

The Etoile de Mer is 80′ frighter seized by US Customs and sunk in July 2001. Due to its depth and size it isn’t a dive that is frequently dove.

Jupiter Star

  • Max Depth: 155ft / 47m 

  • Certification Level: Technical 

  • Features: Artificial Reef & Wreck 

 

Great Miami Wreck sitting in 155 feet of water.

S. Beach Water Tower

  • Max Depth: 175ft / 53m 

  • Certification Level: Technical

  • Features: Artificial Reef & Wreck 

 

The South Beach Water Tower is a 320 ton Art Deco era water tower, mounted on a hopper barge and ballasted with 500 tons of concrete and limestone can be found east of the Westin Resort in an area known for larger ships and deeper diving. It was placed June 27th, 1997. It is considered an entry level dive for technical deep air divers. The tower fell over on its side east of the barge. The top of the barge is at 153′ and you will reach the tower at 143′. Reports are that these are dangerous dive sites. Recreational divers are urged to avoid these wrecks. Technical divers should exercise extreme caution.

Mystick Isle

  • Max Depth: 185ft / 56m 

  • Certification Level: Technical

  • Features: Artificial Reef & Wreck 

 

Sooooooo deep I can’t remember much about this one. Stay tuned.

Tenneco Deep

  • Max Depth: 190ft / 58m 

  • Certification Level: Technical

  • Features: Artificial Reef & Wreck 

 

The two deep water sections lie in 190 feet of water and rise to 80 feet. When Hurricane Andrew stuck in August, 1992, it caused the two deep towers to list at close to a 45-degree angle.

Star Treck

  • Max Depth: 210ft / 64m 

  • Certification Level: Technical

  • Features: Artificial Reef & Wreck 

 

Sunk July 1982 and sporting a 32′ relief, this wreck is loaded with big fish and excitement. Her depth makes this a technical dive and we only do this with private technical diver groups.

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Diver's Paradise - Key Biscayne

T: +1 (305) 361-3483

E: info@diveMIA.com  ​

A: 4000 Crandon Blvd, Key Biscayne, FL 33149