• USS Spiegel Grove (LSD-32)

USS Spiegel Grove (LSD-32)

Depth: 65'-135'

Who you can see: Goliath Groupers, barracuda, Southern stingrays in the sand, moray eels, schooling gamefish, and angelfish.

Structure: 510' long, 84' wide

History: The Spiegel Grove was named after President Rutherford B. Hayes’s Ohio estate and was launched in 1955. She was later cleaned and sunk in 2002 in 130-feet of water near Dixie Shoals in Key Largo. Spiegel Grove was commissioned on June 8, 1956. A Thompson-class dock landing ship, the Grove spent the greater part of her active service participating in amphibious exercises along the eastern seaboard and the Caribbean. The Spiegel Grove was decommissioned in 1989, and sat in the “mothball fleet” in the James River, Newport News, VA, until 2002. Although the quest began in 1994 to use the Spiegel Grove as an artificial reef, years of red tape and fundraising delayed the sinking until 2002. For reasons unknown, potentially due to an interior bulkhead breaking, the Spiegel Grove prematurely started to sink, stern first, with air trapped in the bow still above water. The use of lift bags, and countless divers, and a demolition team allowed for the ship to rest on it’s starboard side in 130'. The Grove rested this way for 3 years, until July 2005, when Hurricane Dennis brought massive surge to upright the ship, as she is today.

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