🇺🇸 Hydro Atlantic Tec Dive - Pompano
Time & Location
About the Event
- Launched: 1905, at Yard 51 of the Sparrows Point, Maryland, facility of the Maryland Steel Company, official number 260377, as a US. Army Corps of Engineers’ hopper dredge to a maximum of 45 ft.
- 1922: it dredged 1,366 loads for the Philadelphia District, which removed a total of 2,378,593 cubic yards of material.
- 1950: Sold to Construction Aggregates Corporation
- 1961: Re-Built. The rebuild deepened her draft, increasing her hopper capacity from 3,076 cubic yards to approximately 5,000 cubic yards, and most likely rebuilt her superstructure, which was originally constructed of wood. The hopper dredge worked on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel project, dredging sand to help construct the man‐made islands for the tunnel.
- 1962: An engine caught fire and moved to New York for repairs.
- 1968: Sold to Hydromar Corporation of Delaware.
- Later, condemned to a salvage yard for scrapping.
- Delaware (1905)
- Sand Captain (1950)
- Ezra Sensibar (1961)
- Hydro Atlantic (1968)
As the Hydro Atlantic was being towed by the tug Elizabeth II to the scrap yard at Brownsville, Texas, her hull gave way and she sank in approximately one mile east of the Boca Raton Inlet on December 7, 1987. Apparently, the towing operation neglected to maintain the four pumps that were needed to keep the leaky 82-year old vessel afloat, and she began to wallow behind the tug. By the time the situation was recognized, it was too late. The tug parted the tow lines and the dredger quickly settled beneath the surface. Sitting bolt upright, the bow of the Hydro Atlantic points southward with her forward mast reaching to within 100 feet of the surface, while the deck is encountered at approximately 145 feet. The bridge and superstructure present several levels to explore, with the collapsed aft-facing bulkheads allowing easy entry in to the interior. Railing still lines the perimeter of the vessel. Moving aft, a large access hold is bordered by winches and other machinery. A large crane can be found along either side of the ship, the operator’s chair long since vacant. Swimming past the single stack, divers will encounter the engine room skylights, which present one of many points of entry into the interior of the ship. Dropping down past several catwalks and then moving forward, divers will be confronted with a large panel of gauges and controls that used to power the dredges on the ship. The boiler room can be found on the opposite side of this area. Heading towards the stern, there is an aft hold that allows abundant areas to explore. While divers have recovered numerous artifacts, there are still many brass fittings, gauges, and assorted material still remaining on the ship. The wreck of the Hydro Atlantic is perhaps one of the most visually stunning wrecks in South Florida. The surfaces of the vessel have largely been incorporated by gorgonians, and areas appear very much like a pasture of purple sea fans that oscillate in the current. It is also interesting to note that exotic Indo‐Pacific fish species, such as moorish idols and yellow bar angelfish, have been observed on this wreck. This is most likely due to the wreck’s proximity to Boca Raton Inlet and the Intercoastal Waterway, where local aquarists may release their unwanted specimen fish. The moderate depth offers a wonderful wreck for initial technical training. Even veteran wreck divers will enjoy a dive on the Hydro.