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San Pedro Underwater Archaeological Preserve
San Pedro Under Water Archaeological Preserve State Park is situated one and a quarter miles south from Indian Key and is under 18 feet of water.
This is a museum at sea and was first opened to the public in 1989, so people have been enjoying this spectacular wreck for 20 years.
This is a wreck site and considered to be one of the most beautiful of all such sites. It is a 287 ton ship built by the Dutch and sunk in the 1773 hurricane.
This wreck was part of a Spanish flotilla of vessels of which only one ship remained after the devastating hurricane hit in 1773. However, four ships were able to be re floated due to their accesible location. 12 million pesos of goods were also able to be liberated.
The wrecks were spread over 80 miles from Key Largo to Dutch Key. The first of the wrecks was discovered much later in 1948 and from there on it was a free for all for the many looters until the inception of the Florida Keys National Society in 1990 who put a stop to the practice.
The shipwreck of our ship was not discovered til the 1960s. Coins, rigging and cannons were brought up and the ship now nestles in a white sand pocket surrounded by turtle grass and ballast stone that measures some 90 feet by 3 feet.
Today, you can dive or snorkel to examine the wreck which has been furnished with replica cannons. The areas surrounding the wreck are rich with marine life so a memorable sight.
There are 5 mooring buoys to tie up to which serve to protect the ship and you must display a diver down flag. You can hire a boat to access the area. Please take lots of fluids and high factor sun screen; it can get ferociously hot in the summer.
The wreck was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May the 31st 2001
If you are visiting the Keys and like being under water then this site should definitely be on your list. Much too far for a day trip, but lots of places to stay on the Keys to make a wortwhile side trip from the Orlando area.
ADDRESS and contact details:
San Pedro Underwater Archaeological Preserve State Park
P. O. Box 1052
Islamorada, Florida 33036
Fax: Contact Park for Number
Citizen Support Organization
Friends of Islamorada Area State Parks, Inc.
P. O. Box 236
Islamorada, FL 33036
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