Dive Site: RSB-1 Wreck
City: Pompano Beach, Florida
Coordinates: 26 13.642′ N 80 03.896′ W
Type of Dive: South Florida Boat / Line Down Dive
Depth: 78ft Wheelhouse, 90ft Deck, 120ft Sand
Last Updated: 9/5/2016
History of the RSB-1 Wreck:
The 160-foot RSB-1 tender was built in 1966 for the U.S. Navy as a range support ship. She was used by the Naval Warfare Center in Fort Lauderdale to deploy and test acoustical listening devices that were designed to detect enemy submarines and other vessels. RSB-1 was used in 1973 to help rescue two people trapped in a mini-sub that sunk off Key West, Florida.
The RSB-1 Wreck is a memorial to James Torgerson, a former Broward sheriff’s Bomb and Arson Unit member who was battling bone marrow cancer at 59 years old.
On April 23, 1994 at 3pm, Torgerson ignited the 10-minute fuse himself which detonated the 49 LBS of explosives used to sink the RSB-1 Wreck off Pompano Beach. Once the explosives knocked holes into RSB-1’s hull, it took only three minutes of water rushing into the vessel until it sunk below the surface. She landed upright in 120 feet of water with her bow facing north.
Broward County chose to memorialize him with a wreck as he helped sink many of the South Florida wrecks we dive today. Torgerson also spent 23 years in the navy where he learned to scuba dive.
Diving the RSB-1 Wreck:
The large holes in the hull make this an easy wreck to penetrate. the RSB-1 Wreck’s deck rests at 90 feet and the sand is at 120 feet.