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Lars Hemel
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PADI 471740
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Alexander's Wreck or USS Amesbury is a dive site featuring a navy destroyer boat in shallow waters.

Name Dive Site:Alexander's Wreck or USS Amesbury
Depth: 22-39ft (7-12m)
Visibility: 29-59ft (9-18m)
Accessibility: Boat, Live-aboard
Inserted/Added by: lars, © Author: Lars Hemel

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Alexander's Wreck or formerly called USS Amesbury is a 300 foot long United States Navy destroyer escort boat. She is over 35 feet wide and lies on its side in less than 40 foot of water. The USS Amesbury (DE-66/APD-66) was built in Hingham, Massachusetts on March 1943. This high speed transport boat carried several landing crafts and was armed with several different types of gun mounts. During World War II she served in the Normandy Invasion, as a landing support ship in China and in July 1946 she was decommissioned after service in Korea. The US Military wanted to use her as a bombing target in front of Marquesas Keys, but she sank premature in a busy shipping lane. It was Chet Alexander, a local commercial salvor, who has bought and refloated the ship for only two thousand dollars. He removed her from the crowded shipping lane and scuttled the ship in shallow waters in the much lesser visited Gulf side of Key West in 1962. Alexander's Wreck is one of the many artificial reef dive sites that are created by him. She is located at only five miles west of Key West, three miles north northwest of Mullet Key and west of Cottrell Key.

The wreck is not dived often by commercial dive boats but remains an excellent ship wreck. Parts of her hull are above water but not very well visible resulting in many collisions with ships these days. Be careful of all the loose metal scrapings that can easily scratch and hurt divers who don't pay attention. She is broken in half with its stern section 150 yards north of the rest because of a hurricane in the 60s. There are gun turrets on deck which are full of marine life and military artefacts are still regularly found. Especially famous are its resident schools of jewfish which have regained its former population after a ten year period of being listed as endangered species. Other fish that are often seen are hogfish, sergeant majors, porkfish, sheepshead and spadefish. Larger nurse sharks, barracuda's, groupers and mutton snapper also frequently visit this great dive site. Visibilities in the Gulf are often a bit lower than at the Atlantic side, but still often over 40 feet, so definitely not a reason not to visit this spectacular wreck.

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