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Vandenberg Wreck

The newest attraction on the Florida Keys’ wreck diving trail, the Vandenberg was sunk off the coast of Key West in 2009 and rests in 140 – 150 feet (42.6 – 45.7 meters) of water. Originally christened the USS General Harry Taylor, this 522-foot vessel originally served as a transport ship in World War II. The US Air Force acquired the vessel as a missile range instrumentation ship in the 1960s and named it the USAFS General Hoyt S Vandenberg. The ship was reacquired by the US Navy and later retired in 1983. The Vandenberg is one of the largest ships ever purposefully sunk as an artificial reef and is considered one of the best wreck dives in the United States.

Fun Fact: the Vandenberg had a brief moment of cinematic fame playing a Russian science ship in the 1999 movie Virus. Some of the Cyrillic lettering that was added for the movie is still visible on the ship.