ALEXANDER’S WRECK

Average Depth: 25 ft. 
Max Depth: 40 ft.

The wreck known as “Alexander’s Wreck” was originally the US Navy destroyer escort “USS Amesbury.” This navy vessel led an illustrious career during World War II before she was eventually decommissioned. The USS Amesbury served with the Atlantic Convoy 7, and was part of the historic Normandy invasion.  Eventually the USS Amesbury was equipped with a five-inch turret gun and 3 twin mount forty-millimeter antiaircraft guns before leaving to fight in the Pacific Ocean. These guns are with the USS Amesbury still today.

Upon returning to Florida in 1946 the USS Amesbury was decommissioned. In 1962 she was purchased for scrap by Chet Alexander, a marine salvager from Key West FL. The remains of this steel-hull US Naval vessel now lie in 25 feet of water five miles west of Key West. This vessel was towed by Chet Alexander Marine Salvage of Key West to a deep water location to be sunk as an artificial reef. While in route, she grounded, and before she could be re-floated, a storm broke up her hull.

The hull of the ship is covered with oysters and corals. The debris left by the ship is a great home for sea life. The area is known for its population of protected Jewfish. Although this species was endangered for 10 years, this site, along with a few others in South Florida is helping to increase the population of this rare species. Hogfish, angelfish, groupers, porkfish, sheepshead, snappers, and spadefish are commonly seen at this site.

Divers should note that the stern of this boat is often awash and therefore can be hit by boats. As a result, many jagged metal pieces are on the stern and can be dangerous to divers.

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