Pensacola Inshore Dives
If you are lucky to have a boat, these Inshore dives are a fanatic place to see a variety of marine life. Inshore dives are generally between 1 mile and 10 miles from shore with most of them being around 3-4 miles. These sites range from 25' to 90' in depth depending upon the location you are diving.
GPS Location: Latitude 30 17.800′ N Longitude 87 18.730′ W
Among the largest and most advanced ships of her time, the Massachusetts was a heavy-caliber battleship and one of the first to be assigned a hull number by the US Navy. Officially commissioned on June 10, 1896, The Massachusetts was over 350-feet long, with a beam of 69-feet and a displacement of over 10,000 tons. In a world still dominated by wooden ships, the massive steam-powered Massachusetts was nothing short of awesome. She was equipped with an impressive array of firepower, including 13-inch gun batteries, 8-inch secondary batteries, two Colt Gatling guns, three torpedo tubes and a number of smaller weapons.
GPS Location: Latitude 30 17.467’N Longitude 87 13.773’W
Lane Gilchrist Reef is comprised of 8000 tons of concrete rubble from that was removed from the old Gulf Breeze Fishing Bridge which was destroyed by Hurricane Ivan in 2004. In a collaborative project between Escambia County and the city of Gulf Breeze, Escambia County Marine Resources deployed the rubble on a 60 acre site located about 3 miles southeast of Pensacola Pass with a maximum depth around 50′.
GPS Location: Latitude 30 16.138′ N Longitude 87 10.157′ W
Sunk in 1982 the Tex Edwards Barge sits in about 75′ of water roughly 7 miles east of Pensacola Pass. While the site has subsided some over the years, large sections of the barge remain intact. With several large overhangs, this site attracts a wide variety of sea life. This is a popular dive site for all levels of recreational divers.
GPS Location: Latitude: 30 17.330’N Longitude: 87 13.755’W
Sunk in July 2013 the Joe Patti Memorial Reef instantly became of the areas most popular inshore dive sites. The metal artwork welded to the top of the barge truly represent all things Pensacola. The barge lays in 50′ of water with the top of the structure sitting at about 35′. This shallow wreck is a popular dive site for divers of all experience levels.
GPS Location: Latitude 30 17.450′ N Longitude 87 13.257′ W
In 1974, the 3 Coal Barges were sunk about 3 miles southeast of Pensacola Pass. Originally designated for an offshore reef location, during transport the barges broke free and were sunk at there current location by the US Navy before they washed ashore. The years have taken their toll on the barges, however they now lie in several broken pieces surrounded by a field of bridge rubble which was placed around the site to rejuvenate it.
GPS Location: Latitude 30 11.333′ N Longitude 87 13.057′ W
There was a lot of mystery behind the sinking of the San Pablo in August 1944 which led to the local name of The Russian Freighter. While not Russian or a freighter, the San Pablo actually spent her life as a fruit transport ship running from Central America to the United States. Recently declassified documents revealed that the San Pablo was sunk by the US Military with a top secret experimental weapon system using a radio controlled boat carrying explosives. Home to an impressive variety of marine life the wreckage is spread out over a large 300′ X 40′ area and is one of 12 sites on the Florida Panhandle Shipwreck Trail.
GPS Location: Latitude 30 10.995’N Longitude 87 12.017″W
Sunk in January 2016 the Tug Ocean Wind is our newest wreck dives in Pensacola and has already become one of the most popular inshore dive sites in the area. She sits in just over 80′ of water upright and fully intact. The 87′ long tug boat was sunk just east of the “Russian Freighter” in Escambia County’s newest artificial reef site zone. “It was actually the tugboat that towed out many of our existing artificial reefs into the Escambia County artificial reef inventory. So it’s very fitting that this tug herself will take her place among our artificial reefs,” Robert Turpin, Escambia County Marine Resources Manager.