Offshore Exploration

Some people visit Pompano Beach to sit by the ocean, others visit to explore the ocean. If you enjoy exploring then there is no better place to visit the underwater world than Pompano Beach.

Lighthouse Point Inlet

Many consider the Pompano Beach area the "Ship Wreck Capital of Florida." If you want something a little more extreme but still very relaxing, Pompano Beach offers some of the best diving experiences in the world. With miles of coral reef to explore, even the most experienced divers enjoy the warm Gulf Stream water.

Valet Diving

Off the coast of Pompano Beach the warm water Gulf Stream current makes diving less of a workout and more of spectator sport. Valet diving, or drift diving, is where the diver is dropped off over the underwater current and transported by the Gulf Stream along the coral reef off the shore of Pompano Beach. Rather than swimming to and from the boat, divers are simply placed in the water and picked up later downstream, making it one of the most relaxing, stress free dives. Divers have the ability to see more marine life around the reef due to more bottom time and energy to explore.

Ship Wrecks

Union Express

Location: Pompano Beach
Depth Range: 108 feet
Skill Level: Advanced Open Water or equivalent experience

The Union Express was built in Germany around 1960. The 170 foot Dutch Coastal Freighter cruised the Northern Sea and later carried food and supplies down the South American Coast. The Union Express was confiscated by Federal Agents in 1990 for smuggling illegal narcotics was sunk in 1992 by the Pompano Fishing Rodeo and the Broward County Artificial Reef Program.

Lowrance

Location: Pompano Beach
Depth Range: 210 feet
Skill Level: Technical

At 420 feet long, this Canadian freighter is the largest wreck in South Florida. Although deep under the surface, the Lowrance is one of the most popular technical dives in Florida. Larger fish are often spotted around the wreckage which results in miles of fishing line that can cause issues with divers. The ship was built in 1953 and originally named the Ciudad De Cali only to be renamed the Lowrance later in its life. The ship had mechanical problems and became stranded in the Everglades area for 3 years before she was sunk off the coast of Pompano Beach in March of 1984. Lowrance, the company, donated to cleanup the ship for sinking given the current name.

Captain Dan

Location: Pompano Beach
Depth Range: 110 feet
Skill Level: Technical

The Captain Dan is a 175 foot Coast Guard tender original called the Hollyhock, a US Coast Guard Tender. Completely intact, the Captain Dan stands upright at 110 feet and is covered with schools of fish. Here you will see some crazy sightings, from whale sharks to amberjack and large barracuda, and it has many large openings and hatches that make for excellent wreck penetration. The ship was sunk in 1990 as part of the Rodeo Reef after being decommissioned by the Coast Guard. It was purchased by a missionary and and towed to the Miami River where she was sold to the Florida Boating Improvement Program to become an artificial reef. Before being sunk in 1990, the Hollyhock was renamed Captain Dan in memory of Dan Garnsey, a charter fishing pioneer.

Hydro Atlantic

Location: Pompano Beach
Depth Range: 170 feet
Skill Level: Technical

The Hydro Atlantic is a 320 foot freighter build by the U.S. Army of Engineers in 1905. This natural wreck has long been considered one of the Top 10 best dives in the United States due to its spectacular dive. As you approach the ship, there is so much sea life growth it looks alive. During swim throughs, circles of fish surround you as you observe the soft corals. In 1950 (at the time, known as the Delaware), the ship was sold and renamed the Sand Captain. Once again, in 1961, she was sold again, this time named the Ezra Sensibar. At this point she was rebuilt with a twin screw diesel electric plant. In 1968, the ship was sold to Hydromar Corporation and renamed Hydro Atlantic. The Hydro Atlantic’s last voyage ended when the hull gave out. She was sunk in 1987 and now stands as one of the Top 10 best dives in the United States.

Miller Lite

Location: Pompano Beach
Depth Range: 165 feet
Skill Level: Technical

The Miller Lite is a 186 foot German freighter built in 1957 with the name Mini-horn. The ship was in service for more than 30 years before being purchased by the Broward Dept. of Natural Resources Protection and sunk off the coast of Pompano Beach. The Miller Brewing Co. was responsible for much of the funding which is why the ship is now referred to as the Miller Lite.

SS Copenhagen

Location: Lauderdale-by-the-Sea
Depth Range: 30 feet
Skill Level: Open Water Diver or Snorkeler

A little less than a half-mile off the beach shore, towards Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, you will find the SS Copenhagen. The Copenhagen is an over 300-foot steamship that sank in the shallow water off the coast in 1900. The SS Copenhagen was carrying coal to Havana when it hit a rock ledge causing it to partially sink. For 40 years the ship was visible from the shore but now keeps its beauty under the surface where only divers can get a peek. In 1994, the SS Copenhagen was made a Florida Archeological Preserve and now serves the East Coast of Florida as one of the premier diving spots for divers and shipwreck enthusiasts.

Ancient Mariner

Location: Deerfield Beach
Depth Range: 70 feet
Skill Level: Open Water Diver

The 165 foot Mariner is an ex-Coast Guard Cutter launched in 1934 and originally named the Nemises. It was built to be a Prohibition Runner but before being finished the Prohibition ended. During the 2nd World War the Nemises was used to teach submarines and escort convoys. She was also used to rescue torpedoed tankers but was decommissioned in 1964 and sold to Auto Marine Engineers in 1966. She was renamed the Livingstone Landing in 1979 after being purchased by investors and became Fort Lauderdale’s first floating restaurant. The restaurant closed in 1981 and was sold and renamed the Ancient Mariner. But before reopening as a new restaurant the same year it sank at the dock. She was recovered and reopened again as a restaurant in 1986 only to infect 100 patrons with hepatitis causing the restaurant to “sink” financially this time. South Florida Divers Club of Hollywood eventually purchased her and donated the Mariner to the Broward County’s artificial reef program who renamed it the Ancient Mariner before being sunk off Deerfield Beach as part of an artificial reef.

Guy Harvey

Location: Fort Lauderdale
Depth Range: 145 feet
Skill Level: Advanced Open Water or equivalent experience

The Guy Harvey is a 175 foot long freighter that sits upright with the bow pointing south. She/he is named after the marine artist and conservationist, Guy Harvey, who painted a large mural on its side before the ship sank. The Guy Harvey was built in Holland in the 1950’s and spent its later years going by the name Lady Kimberly, sailing between the Lesser Antilles and Haiti. She/he was sunk on May 10th, 1997 by Guy Harvey and the Pompano Fishing Rodeo.

In addition to the wrecks listed there are many more great shipwrecks to dive in the area which is why Pompano Beach is the perfect destination for underwater explorers.

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