24° 39.480' N
80° 57.90' W
March 03, 1986
RECOMMENDED MINIMUM TRAINING
The Thunderbolt was a 188 foot long cable laying work boat with a 37 foot beam. The vessel had become a derelict after many useful years of work. The Thunderbolt had found her way into a boat yard in the Miami River. The Artificial Reef Committee of the Florida Keys found the ship, purchased her, cleaned and removed all hatches before towing her to a site just south of Vaca Cut in Marathon. The Thunderbolt was finally sunk on March 3, 1986, in 115 feet of water.
Today the Thunderbolt sits upright and intact just south of Vaca Cut. Divers can see her two bronze propellers, enormous cable lying spool, penetrate into her wheel house or just marvel at the diversity and abundance of marine life that have found their home on this scuttled shipwreck. 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. There is a permanent buoy on the Thunderbolt. Visibility ranges from 50 to 100 feet and a light current is usually present. This wreck is usually covered with big grouper and schools of barracuda.