THE FANTASTICO WRECK

Average Depth: 100 ft.
Max Depth: 115 ft.

The Fantastico was a Honduran freighter that, while carrying a load of fertilizer from Miami to Tampa, was caught in the violent and unexpected 1993 “No Name Storm” 40 miles off Ft. Myers. Of the ten-man crew, only three were saved. Approximately 200 feet in length, she now rests on her starboard side in 115 feet of water.

Her hull is bent upwards around one of her forward cargo holds. The bow is intact and still adorned with railing and machinery; a forward mast juts out into the sand. The forward cargo hold is massive and expansive. The wheelhouse is intact and rests just forward of the stern. The wooden helm was recovered shortly after her sinking, however the bronze helm stand still remains. The radar stand and telegraph stands remain on either side of the helm. Aft of this, the remains of the radio room and the rest of the bridge exist.

Artifacts abound in the wheelhouse: the gimbled ships clock was recovered from the muck along a shelf, a brass artifact that turned out to be the steam whistle indicator was also recovered, and instrument plaques engraved in French. Instruments such as radio and navigation equipment lay strewn amongst debris. On another visit to the wreck by AUE divers, a porthole, a large brass lantern, china, the general alarm relay, and a brass alarm gong were recovered. Closed portholes still adorn the lower levels of the vessel.

The wreck is just beginning her transformation into a thriving ecosystem; schools of snapper and amberjack surround the mast and riggings, which remain largely intact, and an array of colorful corals have taken a foothold on the structure.

Because of the depth and technical requirements, only advanced divers certified in wreck exploration should attempt this dive.

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