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10 Fun Facts About the Sinking of the Lady Luck
The Lady Luck has sunk! But don’t worry, the capsizing of this ship was meant to happen. The 324-foot tanker vessel is the newest addition to Shipwreck Park, an artificial reef system in Pompano Beach, Florida. This unique dive site will feature rotating underwater exhibits, artwork and events, and will attract an expected 35,000 divers from Florida as well as the rest of the world.
Are you “hooked” and curious to know more about the sinking of this ship? (Sorry, we couldn’t resist at least one ocean pun!) Keep reading as we share 10 interesting facts about the Lady Luck and learn exactly what makes up an artificial reef!
1. On the afternoon of July 23rd, approximately 300 boats watched Lady Luck sink to the sandy ocean floor off Pompano Beach.
2. Lady Luck was sunk just one and a half miles off the coast of Pompano Beach, just a 10-minute boat ride from the shore. Other artificial reefs in Florida of comparable sizes are miles offshore and require divers to take lengthy boat trips to reach them.
3. Lady Luck is the centerpiece of Pompano’s Shipwreck Park, where it is surrounded by 16 other wrecks. This latest addition is the world’s first casino-themed wreck and is the most unique part of the surrounding artificial reef.
4. It took a 10-year search for those involved to find the right vessel for this project, but patience has proven to be worth it. With 16 staterooms and a spacious captain’s deck, Lady Luck is the perfect addition to Shipwreck Park.
5. The Lady Luck was built in 1967 and was originally named the Newton Creek. The tanker vessel was towed 1,250 miles from New York to South Florida to be a part of this unique artificial reef system.
6. Measuring 324 feet, Lady Luck is longer than a football field and will be one of the largest contributions to Florida’s artificial reef system.
7. The dive site lies 50 to 120 feet under water, which means recreation divers of all skills are able to explore this unique shipwreck. Being that it's not far from shore and can be enjoyed by both expert and novice divers, Shipwreck Park is being called one of the most accessible major dive sites in the United States.
8. A total of $625,000 was raised by both the city of Pompano Beach and Isle® Casino Racing Pompano Park to restore the ship and turn the Lady Luck underwater casino into a reality. On average, artificial reefs comparable to this cost around five to six million dollars to create, which makes Lady Luck quite a deal!
9. Local artist Dennis MacDonald created several sculptures to adorn the Lady Luck and create a faux underwater casino! His imaginative works of art include a craps-dealing octopus, a cocktail-serving mermaid, poker-playing card sharks, giant dice and antique slot machines. These whimsical and interactive sculptures will provide unrivaled underwater photo opportunities, so divers will want to be sure to bring a waterproof camera!
10. The artificial reef will attract sea life including different types of corals and countless reef fish. Artificial reefs often times divert divers from natural corals, and therefore play a large role in minimizing damage to and promoting growth of the natural marine life.