|Don’t Mess With Mother Nature!--The Sinking Of Spiegel Grove.
By Kim Checolo
Back in 2002 the 510 feet Naval Landing Ship ‘Spiegel Grove’ was actually intentionally sunk off of the coast of Key Largo, Florida. In its heyday beginning back in 1956, the ship transported troops and medical supplies, and participated in amphibious exercises until it was decommissioned in 1989. In May of 2002 the ship was scheduled to become the largest vessel to be intentionally sunk to become an artificial reef. Even after careful planning and engineering, the ship unexpectedly submerged and rested upside down with its bow peeking above the ocean surface. It was eventually turned, but still remained on its side for over 3 years, even after several attempts to move it upright. Even with its unusual tilt, it has become an enormously popular dive site with thousands of tropical fish and sea life calling it home. On July 9th, 2005 Mother Nature corrected something that no one else could seem to do. With the winds from Hurricane Dennis pounding the Florida Keys creating waves of 20 feet or more, and the convenient trenches created under the ships rudder by constant currents, the ship was up-righted to its intentional position! In a way this makes the Spiegel Grove a whole new dive spot to explore again…check it out! Position: 25° 04.00' N; 80° 18.65' W (6 Miles off Key Largo, Florida)