Dive Site: Jim Atria Wreck
City: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Coordinates: 26 09.870′ N 80 04.225′ W
Type of Dive: South Florida Boat / Line Down Dive
Depth: 115ft Wheelhouse, 141ft Sand
Last Updated: 11/7/2015
She was purchased by the Broward County Artificial Reef Program in 1987 with the help of a generous $10,000 ($20,000+ value in 2015) from Jim Atria, a South Florida real estate developer and scuba diver who wanted to show his appreciation for the community. The Broward County Artificial Reef Program named the site the Jim Atria for all Jim did for the community and the program.
The Jim Atria Wreck was originally scheduled to be sunk on September 29, 1987, but the threat of Hurricane Emily pushed the sinking to September 23. With 100 pounds of TNT in the vessel’s bilge, the Jim Atria Wreck submerged stern-first. The vessel rolled onto her port (left) side after reaching her not-so-final resting place in 112 feet of water.
Prior to becoming an artificial reef, the Poinciana capsized and sank in the Miami River in 1982. Steve Somerville, the reef program coordinator, didn’t want to risk a second unintentional sinking with the pending arrival of Hurricane Emily saying, “It would be impossible to raise the Poinciana if it went down in Port Everglades.”
The force of 1992’s Hurricane Andrew blew the Jim Atria Wreck eastward, to a depth of 141 feet and turned her upright. In 2010 the wreck moved again – about 300 feet north when Hurricane Earl passed through South Florida.
The wheelhouse roof on the portside rests 115 feet deep, but has collapsed since its sinking in 1987. The Jim Atria Wreck includes countless openings that can be explored. Pay close attention to your computer as it’s easy to blow your dive profile when exploring this deeper wreck.