Duane

SPECIFICATIONS

MAX DEPTH

RELIEF

COORDINATES

118

50

15

36

m

m

ft

ft

24° 59.380' N

80° 22.920' W

SUNK DATE

November 27, 1987

41

ft

14

m

327

ft

99.1

m

RECOMMENDED MINIMUM TRAINING 

HISTORY

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Duane, hull #WPG 33, was built at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. as the William J. Duane, named after Secretary of the Treasury, under President Jackson. Her keel was laid on May 1, 1935, and she was launched a year latter on June 3, 1936. The Duane was commissioned on August 1, 1936. She was 327 feet long, had a 41 foot beam and was powered by two Westinghouse double reduction geared turbines. Her armament consisted of three 5-inch guns, three 3-inch guns, fourteen 40-mm and eight 20-mm guns.   The Duane was originally stationed in California until being transferred to the East coast in 1939. During World War II, the Duane was credited, along with her sister cutter Spencer, with sinking the German submarine U-175. The Duane also served as a flagship in the 1944 allied invasion of Southern France and was sent to serve as coastal surveillance during the Vietnam war. On another occasion, the Duane rescued 250 survivors from the Dorchester. The rescue lasted for three days from February 3rd through the 6th. The Duane also escorted boats full of refugees during the 1980's Cuban boat lifts. On August 1, 1985, the Duane was decommissioned. She was purchased along with her sister ship the Bibb for $160,000. The money was raised by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council and local dive shop donations. The Duane was cleaned of contaminants, her hatches were removed and she was sunk in an Army Corps of Engineers approved site near Molasses Reef as an artificial reef on the evening of November 27, 1987. Her sister ship the Bibb was sunk the next day. The ships now rest only 100 yards apart.   The Duane sits upright and intact with a slight starboard list in 118 feet of water. The Duane's crow's nest is first reached in 60 feet of water, while her wheel house is in 80 feet. Her main decks are at 98 feet, and her bow points southeast. With the Clear Gulf Stream washing over the site, visibility can be as good as 200 feet, but usually ranges from 30 to 80 feet. A strong current is usually present. We recommend advanced training and experience due to depth and current on both the Bibb and the Duane. The Duane is now a dynamic dive site and has attracted a huge assortment of marine life. Mark Christiansen reports that schools of huge barracuda, three to five feet in length, are seen on almost every dive. Remember penetration into any shipwreck should only be done by those with proper training, experience and wreck diving equipment. Scuba equipment like powerful dive lights, navigation reels, dive knives as well as redundant air supply like a pony bottle or doubles are standard gear for wreck divers.

LOCATION

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