Dive Site: United Caribbean Wreck
City: Boca Raton, Florida
Coordinates: 26 19.268′ N 80 3.539′ W
Type of Dive: South Florida Boat / Line Down Dive
Depth: 62ft Top, 76ft Sand
Last Updated: 6/21/2016
History of the United Caribbean Wreck:
The United Caribbean is better known to the public as the Golden Venture. At 2am on June 6, 1993 the 147-foot steel cargo ship ran aground 300 yards off Rockaway Beach in Queens, New York. Aboard the vessel captained by Amil Humuntal Lumban Tobing and 10 crew members were 286 undocumented Chinese immigrants (262 men, 24 women) who’s goals were to be smuggled into the United States. Many of the immigrants panicked when the Golden Venture hit the sandbar and jumped into the frigid 53-degree water. Between the temperature, the current and not knowing how to swim, 10 immigrants drowned. The 4.5 month voyage costed each immigrant between $25,000 – $35,000.
The Coast Guard inspected the single diesel engine vessel and reported that the 286 immigrants lived in horrid, un-livable conditions.
The Golden Venture was seized and renamed the United Caribbean after the 1993 tragedy.
The United Caribbean Wreck:
Palm Beach County paid $60,000 for the United Caribbean to be part of its artificial reef program. On August 22, 2000 the United Caribbean took a 23-minute journey to its final resting place 76 feet under water. The cargo ship landed upright about a mile off the coast of Boca Raton, Florida.
Diving The United Caribbean Wreck:
Now broken into three sections due to the 2004-2005 hurricanes, the United Caribbean Wreck is a popular South Florida dive spot. Knowing its history prior to exploring it will you make you asking yourself, “How did nearly 300 people live in here for months?!?! when you penetrate the United Caribbean Wreck.