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Eagle was sunk in December 1985 to become an
aritifical reef. Photo courtesy of the Florida Keys
National Marine Sanctuary.

    The Dutch-built freighter Eagle lies on her starboard side in 110 feet of water three miles northeast of Alligator Reef Light in the Florida Keys. Launched and christened in 1962 as Raila Dan, the vessel had several owners and seven names, ultimately serving as a bulk cardboard and newspaper carrier between Miami and Venezuela. In 1985, she caught fire 125 miles south of Miami; two Coast Guard cutters responded to her distress signals, but the ship’s superstructure was gutted by the fire and she was retired to the Miami River. The Florida Keys Artificial Reef Association, with the help of a private citizen, purchased the ship, which was sunk later that year. Largely intact, Eagle became a notable dive attraction with her large mast assemblies, cargo bays and booms, and growing population of sea life. However, in 1998, Eagle was broken in two by Hurricane Georges. Nonetheless, as part of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Shipwreck Trail, the site retains its popularity with advanced divers, who access the site at 24° 52.184’N and 80° 34.217’W, six miles off Lower Matecumbe Key.

Find out more:

General Information:
Check with local dive shops for location details.

Additional Links:

Indiana University
The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

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