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The Spiegel Grove Wreck


Following are basic facts about the Spiegel Grove, the largest vessel ever to be sunk intentionally as an artificial reef and the first ship ever to be scuttled within a National Marine Sanctuary.

Date Sunk: June 10, 2002
Date Opened to Public: June 24, 2002
Position on Seafloor: Upright, courtesy of Hurricane Dennis in July 2005, whose currents lifted the ship from its starboard, or right, side).
Location: About six miles off Key Largo, at 25 ° 04.00 N; 80 ° 18.65' W.
Type of Vessel: Landing Ship Dock (LSD)
Class: Thomaston LSD-28 Fleet
Builder: Ingalls Shipbuilding Corp., Pascagoula, Miss.
Material: Steel hull, steel superstructure
Overall Length: 510 feet; extreme beam: 84 feet.
Maximum Navigational Draft: 19 ft.
Tonnage: 6,880 tons
Speed: 22.5 knots
Launch Date: Nov. 10, 1955
Sponsor: Mrs. Mary Miller Brinkerhoff (Webb C.) Hayes, daughter-in-law of 19th U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes
Commission Date: June 8, 1956
Awards: Armed Forces Expeditionary Medals (6); Navy Expeditionary Medals (4); Humanitarian Service Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon; U.S. Navy "E" Awards; Energy Conservation Award, Golden Anchor Award.
Decommission Date: Oct. 2, 1989
Status: Largest ship ever intentionally scuttled as an artificial reef.
Cost of Sinking Project: $1.25 million
Project Sponsors: Monroe County Tourist Development Council, Key Largo Chamber of Commerce Artificial Reef Committee, Divers Direct, TIB Bank of the Keys, First State Bank of Key Largo, Community Bank of Florida, Capital One and purchasers of $10 or $250 dive medallions.
Ship Cleanup Time: About seven months.
Project Duration: Nearly 8 years

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More information on the Spiegel Grove and links to Key Largo visitor information are available on this website. Visitors are encouraged to contact the Key Largo Chamber of Commerce, toll-free in the U.S. and Canada, at 1-800-FLA-KEYS, Ext. 1. Elsewhere, dial 305-451-1414.

Contact: Andy Newman

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