Miami Area Dive Sites
The Dive Charter Operator I recommend to dive these wreck sites is: RJ Diving Ventures
The Lakeland was a landing craft utility vessel (LCU) from the Vietnam War era which was later enlisted for commercial use. It spans over 200 feet across the sandy bottom offering 30 feet of relief at depths exceeding 126 feet. The deep profile makes it a less popular and more advanced dive in the Key Biscayne Artificial Reef Site off Miami's coast.
She features a simple wide, flat hull, typical of an LCU, which caused the vessel to land on it's side when sunk in June 1982. The Lakeland's two sister ships, the Arida and the Shamrock, also in Key Biscayne Artificial Reef Site, rested on the side and upside-down, respectively.
Due to strong currents from the nearby Gulfstream, it is recommended that you be certified as Advanced Open Water level or its equivalent. This wreck makes a great night dive and although it has now completely rolled-over, it can be penetrated rather safely. If you do plan to explore the interior, plan a short dive as you will definitely hit 140 feet.
The Lakeland is home to hundreds of schooling baitfish and the usual mob of grinning barracudas laying claim to their territory like any good street-gang. Two large propellers provide an excellent back-drop for photographic opportunities.
his wreck dive is not a regular destination for most local dive operators. You can make arrangements with RJ Diving Ventures located at South Beach Marina.
|Robin's Personal Scuba Instruction
P.O. Box 144353
Coral Gables, FL 33114-4353
PADI Instructor # 26858 since 1987
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