Dive Site: Duane Wreck
City: Key Largo, Florida
Coordinates: 24° 59.380′ N 80° 22.920′ W
Type of Dive: South Florida Boat Dive
Depth: 128ft Sand
Last Updated: 12/28/2016
The Duane Wreck is one of the most popular wrecks in the Florida Keys. While it’s not nearly as massive as the Spiegel Grove Wreck which rests 7 miles northeast, you can take an amazing visit on a single dive with 32% Nitrox. However, we recommend doing a double dip to really enjoy the beauty of the Duane Wreck.
History of the Duane Wreck:
The USCGC William J. Duane (WPG-33), better known as the Duane, was one of seven 327ft Coast Guard Cutters built between 1935-1936. This specific vessel’s keel was laid on May 1, 1935 at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. She was then launched on June 3, 1936 as a search/rescue and law enforcement vessel.
These seven vessels were known as the “Treasury/Secretary” Coast Guard cutters which were all named after former Secretaries of the Treasury Department. The Duane was named for William John Duane, who served as the Secretary of the Treasury under President Andrew Jackson.
The Duane served the United States Coast Guard for 49 years and became one of the oldest warship in service. After servicing the United States for nearly half a century, her age began to show. Replacement parts were nearly nonexistent and the Coast Guard decided it would be more feasible to decommission the Duane than to keep putting money into this cutter.
The Duane was decommissioned on August 1, 1985 and was laid up in Boston for two years. On November 27, 1987 the Duane was deliberately sunk of the coast of Key Largo to create this amazing artificial reef we advance open water divers get to explore! Then On May 16, 2002 the Diane Wreck was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
Diving the Duane Wreck:
The amazing Duane Wreck rests upright at a maximum depth of 128ft. Her deck is around 102ft. The crow’s nest is close to 54ft and make sure to visit it as there’s a hawksbill sea turtle that calls it home!