Scuttled by the US Navy in 2006 the Oriskany is the largest object intentionally deployed as an artificial reef, and the first aircraft carrier sunk since WWII. She has an impressive length of 911 feet, a massive breadth of 148 feet, and a height of 151 feet with 17 decks.
Eight decks on the island structure above the flight deck alone. She rests on the seabed at 212 feet but rises to within 80 feet of the surface. This puts her within the range of almost any level of diver training. Though storms have taken their toll on her since her sinking, due to her size, shape, and structure she attracts a diverse array of marine life with many species being unique to her that are not seen anywhere else in the Northern Gulf.
Sitting 23 nautical miles to the South East of Pensacola Pass she is bathed by clear water from the nearby Desoto Canyon and is known to have impressive visibility that often reaches over 100 feet laterally. She is one of the most popular dives in the world and listed as number five on the dive sites for the Florida Panhandle Shipwreck Trail. Every diver should put this site on their must do list.
This is a 166 foot long retired offshore oil field utility vessel that was sunk in 1993 specifically for an artificial reef roughly 12.5 nautical miles offshore from Pensacola Pass.
She still sits upright and has several places to safely swim through the open areas of the wreck. Sitting in 100 feet of water her wheel house rises to only 60 feet and makes this a great multi-level dive to get plenty of dive time on when using a dive computer.
Big schools of Amberjack and Spade Fish frequent the wreck and are often seen swimming through the open wheelhouse windows and doors. The Pete Tide II is dive site number three on the Panhandle Shipwreck Trail.
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The second site on the Florida Panhandle Shipwreck Trail and possibly the best dive on the Florida Gulf Coast. The Freighter San Pablo is locally known as the “Russian Freighter” due to her mysterious sinking off the Pensacola Coast during WWII.
Her true fate only became known when her full story was disclosed as she was selected to be placed on the Shipwreck Trail. American agents working to develop a “missile” vessel to sink Japanese ships in their own harbors sank the freighter with a radio-controlled boat carrying over 3,000 lbs. of explosives. Her wreckage is scattered across the seafloor at a depth of 80 feet where divers can explore her three main boilers, refrigeration coils, and huge sections of twisted metal structures from the 315 foot long vessel.
She is home to a wide range of species of fish and often visibility is only limited due to the sheer number of fish in the water surrounding the shipwreck. At only 9 nautical miles from the Pensacola Pass, she is a great dive site for an Inshore Trip.
Captain Joe Patti was known in Pensacola for his fishing fleet and seafood market. Still one of the most popular tourist attractions, Joe Patti Seafood still attracts people from all over the world for fresh seafood. T
he barge was sunk by grandson Frank Patti and became a community memorial project with the addition of memorial plaques for many of the prominent businesses and people from the Pensacola area. Stainless steel cutouts of the Blue Angles, Pensacola Beach Sign and water tower,
Flora Bama Lounge and plenty of other interesting cutouts of fish and local marine animals. Of course the most prominent feature is the diving helmet for Viking Diving located at the center of the barge along the side behind the Blue Angels.
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3009 Barancas Avenue
Pensacola, FL 32507
Passionate and dedicated, we love what we do! With more than twenty years under our belt, we are confident that you will enjoy any of our variety of excursions. Come out on the water with Captaion Ron and the Viking Diving crew!
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