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Dive Center Key Largo, Florida

FLORIDA KEYS WRECK TREK

Adolphus Busch Sr.

Looe Key



Wreck Trek Overview

Depth Range:  50 to 110 feet

Experience Level: Intermediate to Expert

Sunk 1998

The preeminent must-dive wreck off Big Pine Key is the fully intact, 210-foot Adolphus Busch Sr., a former cargo freighter intentionally sunk in 1998.

The Looe Key Artificial Reef Association bought the ship and towed it from Haiti to Miami. There, she was cleaned, stripped of hatches and portholes, and renamed after the beer magnate who helped fund the project, Anheuser-Busch. She’s now sitting upright in the sand near Looe Key.

Start by dropping to the sand at 110 feet to encounter southern stingrays. Cruise to midships where lemon sharks circle. It’s a site so rich in big marine life that even the lone hammerhead shark is occasionally spotted.

If it’s summer, it’s silversides season. Clouds of thousands sweep across the wreck as the warm Gulf Stream flows closer to shore.

Then there are the cargo holds. Because Adolphus Busch was purpose-sunk, it’s safe for light penetration. Drop inside to meet two resident goliath grouper. Back along the ship’s hull, peer in through the portholes to meet green moray eels.

Take last looks while off-gassing near the wheelhouse. It’s here, as you fin amid massive schools of barracuda, horse-eye jacks and permits, dozens deep.

The perfect place to stay when you are diving the Adolphus Busch Sr. is the Looe Key Reef Resort.

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