25° 33.997' N
80° 05.431' W
January 07, 1983
RECOMMENDED MINIMUM TRAINING
June 1980, the freighter Blue Fire traveled to Cuba as part of a ”Freedom Flotilla” during the Mariel Boat Lift, and was expected to leave the Communist island with up to 5,000 refugees thought to be headed for Florida.
July 5, 1980: was intercepted by the US. Coast Guardon, approximately 37 miles south of Cuba as it steamed for the Cayman Islands after departing from Mariel Harbor.
July 9, 1980: Mysteriously appeared at Miami under Coast Guard escort, with no exiles and was occupied only by its seven crewmen
Seized by the US. government, the Blue Fire was eventually transferred for use as an artificial reef.
The wreck of the freighter Blue Fire is testament to the power of an intense hurricane. Less than 10 years after its deployment as an artificial reef near Fowey Rocks in January 1983, Hurricane Andrew smashed into the hull of the freighter. The wreck was significantly impacted: the aft bridge superstructure was ripped from the lower hull and stern; amidships, the cargo hold reveals a prominent bend, as the storm swell attempted to fold the vessel in half; and the bow is kicked hard over to starboard.