- Nearby Dives
Fast FactsAverage Rating: 4.7143Average Depth: 15 ft.Max Depth: 15 ft.Features: 11,15,16,20
The Catherine was a three-masted ship built in Canada in 1869. She was nearly 200 feet long and over 30 feet in beam. The ship was originally named Eliza and made commercial journeys out of New Brunswick. She was sold to a Norwegian firm in 1890 and continued as a merchant vessel, but under the new name of Cathrine. The records of the ship show her name spelled as Catherine or Catharine also.
In August of 1894, the Catherine ran aground offshore of Santa Rosa Island. Her crew of 17 was safely rescued but the boat was too damaged to ever sail again. Some fittings and riggings were removed by salvors before the surf finally pulled the vessel underwater. She now rests in about 15 feet of water, 1000 feet out from Fort Pickens. A 30-foot section of bronze-plated hull is usually visible as it protrudes about five feet out of the sand. The amount of debris visible nearby changes as storms and tides move the sand.
The waters in which Catherine rests are part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore. Since 1994 the State of Florida and the University of West Florida have worked together with the national park to investigate this wreck along with another much older wreck on the inshore side of Santa Rosa Island.
Although some strong swimmers may be able to reach this divespot swimming from shore, it is recommended to take a boat to the site. The tidal currents and surge are strong in this area and boat traffic is often heavy.
Waypoint: CATHSR Latitude Longitude Degrees 30.3118333333333 -87.2656666666667 Degrees/Minutes Degrees/Minutes/Seconds
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