Nearby Dives

Joe's Tug

Fast Facts

Average Rating: 3.25
Average Depth: 45 ft.
Max Depth: 65 ft.

    By the sound of her name, you would think "Joe's Tug" was actually a tugboat. In fact, she is an old steel hulled shrimper originally destined as an artifical reef off the coast of Miami. Originally, this 75-foot tug sank at the pier in Key West in 1986. It was raised and cleaned in preperation for her planned sinking as an artificial reef in Miami. However, late on the night before it was scheduled to be towed north, a group of locals surreptitiously towed the boat out of Key West harbor. The vessel sank enroute to wherever they were headed, landing on the reef in about 65 feet of water. Some say a rum-soaked local pirate did it!

    Joe's Tug now sits in about 65 feet of water in the sand, no longer intact. In 1998, Hurricane Georges picked up the wreck and tore her in half. The bow and stern now lie about 30 feet apart, and the wheelhouse has largely disintegrated over the years. The hull is easily accessible and is usually filled with schooling fish. She sits up right on the ocean floor surrounded by soft and hard coral formations and large sponges. This wreck is home to some very friendly moray eels and inquisitive fish. Joe's Tug is an easy and rewarding dive for both beginners and experienced divers. Open access to the wheel house and aft deck make this an enjoyable dive. Visibility is usually good due to its location outside of the reef and offers a great photographic location with a wide variety of corals and marine life

    Also home to Joe's Tug is the famous Jewfish named "Elvis". Be sure to look for him so that when you go back home after your dive trip, you can tell your friends you actually saw Elvis in Key West!

    Joe's Tug is one of the most popular divesites for Lower Keys diveshops

    Waypoint: JOETUG Latitude Longitude
    Degrees 24.4641666666667 -81.7378333333333

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