Duane Wreck | Key Largo Wreck Dive

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

duaneThe 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 have an amazing dive 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. This wreck is easy to navigate and penetrate with proper training. 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! While you can see the whole wreck on one dive with proper nitrox, we recommend doing a double dip.

Dive Key Largo’s Duane Wreck

  1. I served on the USCG Duane WPG33 from 1961 to 1963. She was a great ship, I enjoyed serving on her as a Quarter Master 3rd class. My last time in the Coast Guard was spend on the USCG Castle Rock for the remainder of my tour. I ended up doing a Cadet tour for 3 months. This was a great end to my USCG career.

  2. Im an advanced PADI diver and already dove the Vanderberg in Key West, gonna be in Key Largo for a couple of days August 6-8, please recommend dive sites to dive the Duane,thank you.

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