USCG Bibb

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Lat 24 59.71 Lon 80 22.77
Approx. 6 nautical miles offshore, near Molasses Reef tower


90 to 130 feet deep

The Bibb was built in 1937. She is 327 feet long, with a 41 foot beam. She served in patrols and convoy escort duties during WW II, and joined in the battle for Okinawa in 1945. The Bibb served in Vietnam but her real legacy, like the Duane, is the Bibb s record of heroic rescues, many conducted under the worst possible conditions. A consortium of diveshops and other organizations arranged for the Bibb and the Duane (the Bibb s sister ship) to be stripped and prepared as artificial reefs and divesites. The doors were removed above the main deck and the lower compartments were sealed. Both ships were sunk in 1987.

The Bibb sits on its side in 130 feet of water. As it is outside the reef line, the current is often quite ripping. This is an advanced dive, and few diveshops will take divers without proper documentation (i.e., log books showing deep dives, Advanced C-cards, etc.). Boats should tie off to the bouys, which are secured to the bow and the stern of the wreck. Divers should always descend and ascend along the anchor line to avoid being swept away by the current. A 15 safety stop is mandatory. Due to the variable depths, this should be considered a multi-level dive. Dive computers are a great aid. Don t forget your divelight either.

Because the Bibb is on it s side, and in deeper water than the Duane, it is visited much less frequently than the Duane. The dive is shorter (due to depth), and penetration is not recommended due to the strong possibility of disorientation or entanglement from loose wiring.

Due to the gulf stream current, visibility is often over 100 feet. Because the Bibb is infrequently visited by divers, it is more pristine than the Duane. The hull is heavily encrusted with corals. Large animals like jewfish, cobia, turtles, big amberjacks, etc. frequent the site. Schools of barracuda hover at about 50 feet, giving you something to check out while you ascend/descend.

Divers will reach the wreck at either the stern or bow anchor line. The port gunnel railing is at 95 feet. Pass along the port side of the ship, minimizing depth where possible. The forward deck has a large circular hatch, marking the ammunition storage area of the gun turret. Always stay alert and look around for the big animals.

Because the ships are virtually identical in construction, and the Duane is upright and shallower, most divers opt to visit the Duane instead of the Bibb. Given the lack of competition for bouys and its more pristine unvisited condition, the Bibb is still an outstanding dive.

Site Description: Intact 327 U.S. Coast Guard Cutter sunk in the 1987 as an artificial reef.

Location: Seven miles off shore in the Molasses Reef area in 135 of water.

Depth: 90 -135

Visability: Averages 50 to 75

Diver Level: Advanced diver with proven experience in similar environmental conditions

Comments: The Bibb is known to be a dangerous dive, and those requesting to dive it should be able to present a significant amount of experience. Due to its depth, stiff curents, and side orientation, wreck penetration is not recommended. There are currently no buoys marking the site, and drift diving is a common style for the Bibb.

Town Key Largo
County FL
lat 24.989500000000000
Lng -80.382000000000000

Source: www.divebuddy.com

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