Raychel

SPECIFICATIONS

MAX DEPTH

RELIEF

COORDINATES

185

20

6

56

m

m

ft

ft

25° 49.212' N

80° 04.763' W

SUNK DATE

July 30, 1991

ft

m

164

ft

49.7

m

RECOMMENDED MINIMUM TRAINING 

HISTORY

A frequent visitor to Miami, the Raychel was a164-foot long Honduran freighter that carried general cargo from South Florida to ports in the Caribbean and Central America. On October 18, 1990, the Raychel cleared Government Cut and was preparing to turn southbound at the seaward end of the shipping channel for the Turks and Caicos Islands.On this trip, she was burdened with a cargo of cinder blocks, lumber, eight vehicles, and eight cargo containers. Captain Ray Minor had just taken over the helm from the harbor pilot, who departed the ship near channel marker number two. With winds blowing approximately 20 miles an hour, the pilot boat pulled away from the lee side of the freighter and was 300 feet away when the freighter’s cargo apparently shifted. The Raychel quickly took on a list and began to capsize as the crew of nine hastily abandoned ship in a life raft and boat. While the crew escaped unharmed, the Raychel settled on her side in 43 feet of water.A lighted buoy was placed on the wreck as the shipping company consulted with salvors. In the interim, local sport divers converged on the wreck and found the sandy bottom littered with the cargo of the vessel, including bicycles, PVC pipe, cinder blocks, lumber, automobiles, and crates of liquor and juice. Notably, numerous crates of Jack Daniels bourbon w e r e liberated from the site by opportunistic divers. The Raychel remained at the end of the shipping channel for several months until salvage crews recovered what they could from the vessel before her planned scuttling in deepwater. The freighter was then raised in several large sections and taken via barge to her final resting spot. The sections of the wreck were sunk in approximately 185 feet of water at the Pflueger Artificial Reef Site in July 1991, and now provide an interesting destination for technical divers.

LOCATION

VIDEO

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