Official Name: USCG Bibb
Location: Key Largo
Vessel: 327 Foot Coast Guard Cutter
Dive Level: Advanced & Nitrox
Near Molasses reef off the coast of Key Largo sits the USCG Bibb, the sister ship to the Duane. This wreck dive experiences a moderate to heavy current more often than not due to its placement near the gulf stream. Laying on her Starboard side, most of this wreck sits below 100 feet with very little relief from any currents at shallower depths. Due to its positioning, it's one of the deepest wrecks in the area making it an Advanced Dive.
How to Dive the Wreck of the Bibb
We ask that our divers be at minimum a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver with experience diving deep and we highly suggest that you have your Nitrox/Enriched Air Certification to extend the amount of time you can spend on this beautiful wreck. We often host Deep Diver Courses and Wreck Diver courses at this site. Contact our shop today to learn more about the opportunities to dive this vessel.
History of the Bibb Wreck Dive
Built in Charleston, SC, this vessel was named after George M. Bibb. Bibb was a US Senator and was appointed the secretary of the Treasury in 1844 by President Tyler. The Bibb started working as a US Coast Guard Cutter providing patrols in the North Atlantic. World War II saw her pulled into Naval service after being fit with anti-submarine weapons. With the designation WPG-31, she protected the northeast coast and trans-atlantic convoys. On multiple occasions, she engaged with submarines and rescued sailors from boats that had been torpedoed. In 1943, her captain disobeyed direct orders to rescue a group of survivors from frigid waters. Due to this, 202 souls lived to see another day.
Later in the war, he designation was changed to WACG-31 when he heavy armament was refitted with anti-aircraft gun and a large radio room. She was converted into a command-and-control ship for amphibious landings. After the war she, like her sister ship, returned to Coast Guard Service.
The Bibb is recognized for multiple rescues at sea during her Coast Guard career. Once famous rescue was of the crew and passengers aboard the vessel the Bermuda Sky Queen in 1947. The flying boat encountered strong headwinds and burned too much fuel. It made an emergency landing on the sea on its way to Newfoundland in 30 foot swells.
She, like the Duane, participated in wartime duties in 1967 in Vietnamese waters before more Coast Guard duties and a 1984 decommissioning. The Bibb is one of nine wrecks in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Shipwreck Trail.