Nearby Dives


Fast Facts

Average Rating: 3.75
Average Depth: 60 ft.
Max Depth: 75 ft.

    The Proteus is a 220' freighter sunk in the Key Biscayne Artificial Reef Site on January 24, 1985. This site is one of the shallower wrecks dives in South Florida, resting in only 72' of water with at least 30' of relief (top deck is at 50'). This artificial reef site makes an excellent opportunity for the novice wreck diver and serves as a great introduction to Miami's exceptional collection of artificial reefs.

    She was once a ferry boat on the Great Lakes before carrying freight and supplies between the Caribbean islands. Most of her superstructure was removed to allow maximum cargo space, but the ship failed to make a profit resulting in bankruptcy in 1980. The freighter sat on the Miami River for 5 years as a derelict vessel behind Bud's Auto Parts on 34th Avenue. During its tenure as Bud's garbage barge, thousands of license plates were thrown into the ship from the auto shop. Although most of the plates have been salvaged by sport divers as souvenirs, if you look close you may still be able to find one laying in the hold to this day.

    NAUI (National Association of Underwater Instructors) expressed their interest in helping to obtain and sink a ship in late 1984 and discovered the Proteus through Ben Mostkoff, then Director of the Miami-Dade County's Artificial Reef Program. Volunteers cleaned and prepared the ship to made it environmentally safe before sinking.

    Resting on a sandy bottom, not far from the popular Biscayne wreck, the Proteus was broken into several large pieces by the forces of Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Since the structure spread out over a wider area, more marine life seems to have taken up residence in the various twisted metal remains of the wreck. Moray eels, schooling grunts, barracudas, angelfish and the occasional groups can be found within the wreck and around debris field.

    Waypoint: PROTUS Latitude Longitude
    Degrees 25.7055166666667 -80.0873333333333

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