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Lars Hemel
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PADI 471740
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Diving at shipwreck the USCG Cutter the Duane

Name Dive Site:Duane
Depth: 59-127ft (18-39m)
Visibility: 59-118ft (18-36m)
Inserted/Added by: lars, © Author: Lars Hemel

Rated 5.0, 1 votes

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The 1936 USCG (United States Coast Guard) cutter the Duane is one of the best known military vessels in the world.
She was used in many famous historic events:

  • During the invasion of Normandy in 1944 she served as a flagships.
  • She was one of the patrol boats of Florida (early 40s) and in Vietnam (1957-1968).
  • During the Marriel Boatlift operation in 1980 she was one of the boats that controlled the massive 125.000 Cuban refugees that entered the Keys.
  • But most of all she is known because of the number of lives she saved during multiple rescue missions.
Many dive shops removed doors, opened decks and sealed risky lower compartments to preparing the wreck to be scuttled in November 1987. Nowadays, she is one of the most popular dive sites located just one mile south of Molasses Reef and her sister ship the Bibb. Tour boats are very strict in handing over advanced diver certification as she went down in deep, high current waters to prevent interfering with all the shipping lanes.

It is often named as the perfect artificial reef as it is resting on the ocean floor in its upright position, its location next to the warm Gulf stream provide for many large predators and visibilities often reach more than 100 feet. Taking one of the two mooring buoys will bring you down on the wrecks bow or stern spotting its 60 feet deep crow's nest from the surface. Always use the anchor line as the large currents can easily sweep you away from this 327 feet long and 41 foot wide cutter. With four decks high she is perfect as a multi-level wreck dive with many interesting things to take a look at on the way. Its hull is fully intact with its original railings, rudders and ladders still in place. Don't forget to peek inside the wheelhouse also safe for non wreck divers. Penetrating the wreck is spectacular, easy and safe for trained wreck divers as there are several of the 42 cabins decorated with furniture. Non wreck divers will enjoy its diversity of marine life and with coral encrusted parts of its top deck. Going deeper than 100 feet isn't really necessary as it will only speedup your air and reduces your actual dive time.

The Duane lies just outside the reef line with schools of barracudas hovering around its bow waiting for smaller baitfish to pass by. Jewfish, cobia, nurse sharks and huge amberjacks are some of the other large fish that are often encountered here, while reef and coral fish such as parrots and angels live well on the amounts of coral.

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- BlueWater Divers of Key Largo, 99701 Overseas Highway, Key Largo

BlueWater Divers of Key Largo

BlueWater Divers of Key Largo
(305) 453-9600
 99701 Overseas Highway
Key Largo

We specialize in taking Divers and Snorkelers to the incredible 3rd largest great barrier reef in the world. Let us show you the beauty of Key Largo thats just off the coast. Locations include sites to John Pennekemp State Park and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

BlueWater Diver is a U.S. Coast Guard inspected thirty foot custom dive vessel. She's fast, comfortable, and never crowded! While U.S. Coast Guard certified for 15 passengers, open seating is limited to ten divers per two location trip. Her flush deck, open transom, and sturdy boarding ladder were designed with diving in mind. We offer bottled water, fruit drinks, fresh fruit and a fresh water rinse shower on board for your convenience. We have a storage locker on site for you to stow your gear overnight and we will have all your gear set up for you upon your next dive trip. If you are tired of overcrowding, look no further and join us for a fabulous day on the water in the Florida Keys.

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