City of Washington
Who you can see: Green, Hawksbill, Loggerhead seaturtles, goliath grouper, moray eels, nurse sharks, reef sharks, flamingo tounges, southern stingrays, spotted eagle rays, spiny lobster, and large schools of reef fish.
Structure: 320′ long, 38′ beam
History: Built in 1877, the City of Washington has an interesting history. The City of Washington transported both passengers and freight between New York, Cuba, Panama and Mexico. In 1898, the City of Washington was anchored in Havana Harbor near the USS Maine when it was blown up. Washington’s crew jumped into action and rescued 90 crewmen. The dining salon became a makeshift hospital for the injured. The deckhouse and lifeboats of Washington were damaged by burning debris from the Maine.
With the Spanish-American War in full swing, the City of Washington became a transport for troops to Cuba. A much larger engine was added in 1898. After the war, the ship was converted to a coal barge in 1911. As she was being towed in 1917, the City of Washington struck Elbow Reef and sank within minutes.
Due to storm damage, the wreck is greatly deteriorated, although the hull and keel shapes are still visible. Debris spans an area 325 feet in length.