Nearby Dives

Mercedes I

Fast Facts

Average Rating: 4.2222
Average Depth: 60 ft.
Max Depth: 100 ft.

    The most famous of Fort Lauderdale's wrecks is the 198-foot freighter Mercedes I. She received national attention, when on Thanksgiving Day in 1984 during a terrible storm, she lost her anchorage and ran aground against the seawall of an exclusive Palm Beach seaside mansion. Abandoned by her owners, she was left on the beach for three months until a salvage company hired by the state of Florida successfully removed her.

    Then, in a public relations feat, Broward County surprised the industry by somehow managing to acquire the vessel away from the Palm Beach artificial reef groups. She was stripped and cleaned, and holes were cut in her sides and bulkheads. She was loaded with 350 pounds of TNT, floated out to the chosen spot and spectacularly sent to the depths with brilliant pyrotechnics, explosions, and festivities. She now lies even keel in 97 feet of water just offshore of Fort Lauderdale. The deck is at 60 feet and her tower can be reached at 45 feet.

    On August 24, 1992, Florida's infamous Hurricane Andrew swept through the area with massive devastation and almost tore her in two. The wreck was partly broken amidship and has since separated even more. However, she's still a beautiful dive - the still intact bow now faces north on the outside of the third reef system. Average visibility ranges from 50 to 60 feet and the current can sometimes be strong so the wreck is for more advanced divers.

    Waypoint: MERCED Latitude Longitude
    Degrees 26.1561666666667 -80.0752166666666

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