Spirit of Miami Scuba Dive Spot

The Boeing 727 was on a flight of fancy when she slipped beneath the waves for her final approach, this time to the ocean floor. An outrageous idea, sinking a huge jet as an artificial reef. The retired airline, christened "The Spirit of Miami" by astronaut Buzz Aldrin and "Cali" by Stephen O'Neal, immediately captured the imagination of many scuba divers and writers around the world.


Funded by ECOSAT, the Education Council for Space Technology, the Destination Atlantis project was utilized as a vehicle to support education and the exploration of inner space by Dade County school children through the MAST Academy, a Dade County Magnet School. 109 experiments designed by school children were mounted on top of and inside the airliner. The experiments addressed a wide range of relevant and interesting issues from "the electro deposition of minerals in sea water " by Tim Curtis and Nathan Bates, to "the effect of phosphates and other materials on the growth of algae", by Jason Soros. In addition to the experiments, a fifty year time capsule was placed in a secret location inside the 727.


She was deployed on September 8th, 1993, 3 1/2 miles off of Miami in 82 ft of water between two other artificial reefs, the South Seas and the Belcher Barge. Eighty five plus sunken ships and other material beckon divers from all over the globe, making Miami the clear water wreck diving capital of the world. The wrecks, if layed end to end, form over 14,200 feet - 2.7 miles - of artificial reef.


Her life before the deep started as a Boeing 727-51, line number 188, serial number 18806 and was delivered to Northwest Airlines as N470US on October 7th, 1965. Subsequent service was seen under the colors of National Airlines, Pan Am, Pacific Interstate, Royal West, Majestic Air. Her final colors were those of Carnival Airlines as N 5609, she was sold on May 8th, 1991, stripped of all usable parts waiting to be recreated as an artificial reef.


During the 1995 hurricane season tropical storm Gordon generated seas in excess of 15 feet for an extended period of time breaking the 727 in half. The nose, forward fuselage and wings remain on site while the tail section now sits in 110 feet of water 150 yards to the north east. Plans are under way to retrieve the tail section during the summer of 1997.


"She's a real wreck now", states Stephen O'Neal the project director and with a wink hints that another unique and outrageous artificial reef project may be in the works.



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Miami Dive Shops

If you are looking to buy or looking to rent, Miami has some of the best dive shops around. With competitive pricing and experienced divers to give you adivce, you can find the right SCUBA dive equipment for you in Miami. The dive shops can also help you out with Dive Lessons, Instructors and Dive Charters. We recommend Austins Dive Center in Pinecrest.

Dive Miami Resources

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