Nearby Dives

USS Alligator

Fast Facts

Average Rating: 4
Average Depth: 8 ft.
Max Depth: 12 ft.

    The original USS Alligator was the last remaining example of the five 12-gun schooners used to work against the slave trade and piracy on the ocean. This ship was initially built in the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston in 1820. Although the ships first tasks included working to stop African slave trading and searching for land on which American colonization could occur, post-1822, this ship was used primarily to hunt pirate ships.

    This 86-foot ship was attempting to protect a convoy from being raided by pirates when it sank in 1825. Salvaged after going aground, the crew decided it would be best to blow up the ship in order to protect her from further pirating. The remains of the ship are two piles of ballast stones and the lower hull which make their home a few hundred feet on the ocean side of the Alligator Reef Lighthouse.

    The remains are in shallow water with the deepest reaching only 12 feet, and the shallowest just 3 feet below the surface. This makes the site great for divers and snorkelers. Due to its placement however, the site has been worn down by the natural weather patterns in the area as well as by frequent usage. This site is a great historic treasure. The ship sunk before modifications or large-scale repairs could take place and is the only remaining vessel that represents the construction used in the peacetime Navy that arose after the War of 1812.

    For a diver seeking exploration, it is interesting to note that most of the valuables were removed from the ship but it is suspected that artifacts remain that may tell more about the true historical importance of the ship, crew, and mission. If your interests lie in naval architecture, this is defiantly the site for you. Although there is little of the boat left, the hull draws the attention of many historians looking to connect with the 19th century naval construction. This site has sparked the interest of many and may one day be declared a National Landmark.

    Waypoint: UGATOR Latitude Longitude
    Degrees 24.8511666666667 -80.6201666666666

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