It has been a year since the U.S. Navy ship "Spiegel Grove" prematurely sank and capsized in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The local Florida tourism and environmental officials have been extremely pleased with its dual role as both an artificial reef for marine life and for attracting divers.
The Spiegel Grove prematurely sank on May 17, 2002, hours before it was scheduled to come to rest upright on the sandy ocean bottom approximately six miles off of Key Largo in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. For the next three weeks, the ship’s upside-down bow protruded above the ocean’s surface.
Salvage experts from the Ft. Lauderdale area were able to roll the Spiegel Grove right side up and finished sinking it on June 10, 2002.
Today, the Spiegel Grove is the largest ship in the world ever scuttled to create an artificial reef, according to wreck-diving experts.