Lakeland

SPECIFICATIONS

MAX DEPTH

RELIEF

COORDINATES

135

25

8

41

m

m

ft

ft

25° 40.067' N

80° 05.010' W

SUNK DATE

June 16, 1982

ft

m

200

ft

60.6

m

RECOMMENDED MINIMUM TRAINING 

HISTORY

The Lakeland was originally laid down on December 9, 1944, at Brown Shipbuilding Company’s Houston, Texas, shipyard as LSM‐373. The LSM (Landing Ship, Medium) was 203.5 feet in length and 34.5 feet in beam, displaced 1,095 tons when fully loaded, and was powered with twin Fairbanks Morse direct‐drive diesels. She had the capacity to carry five medium or three heavy tanks, six tracked landing vehicles, or nine DUKW amphibious trucks, as well as almost 50 troops. Launched less than three weeks later on December 30, LSM‐373 conducted her shakedown cruise in early 1945 before departing for the Pacific Theater on March 4, 1945. After passing through the Panama Canal, she reached Eniwetok Atoll in the Marshall Islands onMay4. During the final weeks of World WarII, LSM‐ 373 participated in operations in the Marianas, Solomons, and Okinawa. After the Japanese surrender, the landing ship transported troops and supplies for occupation forces in Korea and China throughout 1945 and into early 1946. LSM‐373 eventually returned to the United States, and after decommissioning  on October 14, 1946, she was placed in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet at Green Cove Springs. On February 28, 1958, LSM-373 was recommissioned at the Charleston Naval Shipyard in South Carolina to serve asa logistic supply ship. On October 14, 1959, she was renamed U.S.S. Lakeland, however, she was decommissioned the following month and struck from the Naval Register in January 1960. The Portsmouth Salvage Company in Chesapeake, Virginia, purchased the surplus landing ship on October 6, 1960. The Lakeland was converted for use asan inter-island freighter, and was employed for over two decades before finally being scuttled as an artificial reef off Miami on June 16, 1982. The Lakeland now rests almost completely upside down in 135 feet of water and is oriented with her bow pointing west. While the inverted hull does not present an appealing dive visually, there are numerous penetration points that allow access under and i n t o the interior of the vessel. An extensive debris field can be found extending from the wreck; to the north, numerous cement mixer drums that were also deployed to serve as artificial reef material can be found scattered a long the bottom. These were actually deployed a considerable distance from the Lakeland, but Hurricane Andrew tumbled them along the bottom towards the freighter.

LOCATION

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