The 510 ft retired U.S. Navy ship was sunk in May of 2012 and is now an incredible shipwreck reef, but it took over eight years for a local group gain government approval and financing for the project. Even the process of scuttling the ship was fraught with complications - a marine salvage crew had to be called in to sink the ship completely and ensure that it rested upright on the ocean floor. In the end, the project was a tremendous success.
The ship is now a stunningly beautiful underwater reef and popular dive site. Stony and soft coral have covered the ship, and the wreck is populated by over 200 species of fish. "It's best to take a flashlight with you," advises Key Largo dive videographer Frazier Nivens. "When you turn on the light, the whole thing just explodes with color," said Nivens, owner of Ocean Imaging. "There are corals and sea fans everywhere you look."
The image shows a recent photo of a diver using a diving light to bring out the color of coral that now covers the gun mounts on the Spiegel Grove.
(Image Source: Keysnet.com by Stephen Frink)