The USS Oriskany // (c) Barry Shively / Florida Department of State
The USS Oriskany // (c) Barry Shively / Florida Department of State

Which U.S. city and state is home to the world’s largest artificial diving reef?

The USS Oriskany // (c) Barry Shively / Florida Department of State
The USS Oriskany // (c) Barry Shively / Florida Department of State

Located off Pensacola, Fla., the veteran aircraft carrier USS Oriskany is the largest artificial reef in the world.

The wreck is part of the Florida Panhandle Shipwreck Trail, a series of 12 shipwrecks located offshore of Pensacola, Destin, Panama City and Port St. Joe.

Many of the shipwrecks along the trail were sunk to become artificial reefs, and have become popular fishing and diving destinations in varying depths of water with countless varieties of sea life. The 12 shipwrecks were chosen by a consensus of local dive operators, based on popular demand, historical context and ecological diversity.


Off Pensacola, USS Oriskany has become one of the most sought-after diving destinations. Nearby are the U.S. Navy dive tender YDT-14, and the oilfield supply vessel Pete Tide II. San Pablo, a freighter that hauled fruit from Central America, was sunk in a secret military operation during World War II. In shallower water, a series of three Coal Barges offer a great location for divers to practice buy aciphex in canada their skills and learn about marine life.


Off Destin, the tugboat Miss Louise is a perfect destination for novice and intermediate divers.

Panama City

Off Panama City, the oilfield supply vessel Black Bart is intact from the top down between 40 and 85 feet of water. Two navy tugboats, USS Accokeek and USS Chippewa, offer exciting dives to 100 feet. At another site, the FAMI Tugs, one tugboat is situated on top of the other. A visit to USS Strength, a World War II minesweeper that survived both a midget submarine attack and a kamikaze raid, includes making friends with the resident goliath grouper.

Port St. Joe

Off Port St. Joe, the steamer Vamar was made famous as a support ship for Admiral Richard Byrd’s 1928 Antarctic expedition before sinking under mysterious circumstances in 1942.

The Florida Panhandle Shipwreck Trail was funded in part through a grant agreement from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Coastal Management Program, by a grant provided by the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, National Oceanic and Atmospheric

Florida Shipwreck Trail / Visit Pensacola