Official Name: MV Eagle Tire Co.
Location: Islamorada, Florida
Vessel: 287 Foot Cargo Freighter
Dive Level: Advanced & Nitrox
5 Miles off the coast of Islamorada, FL sits a cargo freighter named the Eagle. This incredibly popular diving site is known as a superb wreck dive, spearfishing site and training location for advanced diving courses. The artificial reef was sunk in 1985 and marine life flocked to the site. Due to its depth and locations, you can commonly find Goliath Grouper, Bull Sharks, Rays, Tarpon and a large variety of smaller fish.
This wreck offers several small swim throughs and even some wreck penetration opportunities that line up perfectly with PADI Wreck Diver Course. The true beauty of the dive is to remain around the outside of the wreck to explore the central cargo hold, the king-towers, the superstructure and the marine life sheltering with-in the artificial reef.
How to Dive the Wreck of the Eagle
This is an Advanced Dive. We ask that our divers be at minimum a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver 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 Eagle Wreck Dive
The Eagle was named after the Eagle Tire Co. which helped purchase the vessel in 1985. Before it was named the Eagle went by several different names and through multiple fires at sea. Built in Holland in 1962, she took her first voyage under the name Ralia Dan. After 7 years of operation under the Danish flag, she experienced her first fire. The fire caused serious damage and the owners sold the vessel. In 1969 she was renamed Barok. She took on the names Carmela Ytai and Etai. Another serious fire took place in 1977 along with a name change to Carigulf Pioneer (1981) and Arron K (1984).
On October 6th, 1985, once again this ship caught fire. The US Coast Guard charged two Cutters to come to its rescue and evacuate the crew. The ship was declared a total loss and towed to a Miami port. The Florida Keys Artificial Reef Association with financial support of diver donations and a donation from Joe Teitelbaum (the owner of Eagle Tire Co.) purchased the vessel in hope of determining her final resting place in the Florida Keys.
They determined that The Eagle could live on the seafloor near the Alexander Barge. The Miami-Dade County Bomb Squad was called in for a special job - to help sink the 287 Foot vessel. Landing on her starboard side she remained there for 13 years until Hurricane Georges decided to split the wreck into two pieces forever changing the layout of the wreck dive.
The Eagle is one of nine wrecks in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Shipwreck Trail.