Mercedes I

The freighter Mercedes I was built in Hamburg, Germany, in 1952 and is 194 feet long,

On November 23, 1984, while at anchor, a storm ripped the freighter from her anchor and left the Mercedes I high and dry on the beach in Palm Beach.

After three months the ship was dislodged and was purchased by the Broward County Environmental Quality Control Board, with the intention of sinking the ship to create an artificial reef off the coast of Ft. Lauderdale. In preparation for her sinking, the Mercedes I was stripped and holes were cut in the ship’s sides and interior bulkheads to make her safe for divers. Hatch covers were removed and exit signs were even painted on the interior walls to help divers find their way out safely. All of the preparation work was done by volunteers from the community.

On March 30, 1985, the ship was towed out to sea and sent to her final resting place.

On a clear day, the Mercedes can be seen from the surface sitting perfectly upright on the ocean floor. Although visibility here has been reported to be as good as 100 feet, the norm ranges from 50 to 60, and the current can sometimes be strong.

Because of the depth and the strong current, this wreck is for the more advanced diver.

The Mercedes I now rests in 97 feet of water, 1.5 miles off the shore of Ft. Lauderdale on a sand and coral bottom, reachable by kayak from the Vista Park kayak launch. The deck is at 60 feet and her tower can be reached at 45 feet. The wreck is loaded with marine life and makes a great photo site.

GPS Coordinates
N 26° 09.370′
W 080° 04.513′

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