(underwater images courtesy of
Benwood was a 345 foot freighter built in 1910 that now rests off
Molasses Reef in the Florida Keys. During World War II ships transiting
the US coast tried to avoid German U-boat detection by steaming without
running lights. Unfortunately for the Benwood this was a factor in her
collision with the tanker Robert C. Tuttle. As the ship began to take on
water, her Captain tried to save the Benwood and its cargo by running
her aground. Today the Benwood lays in 55 fsw off Florida’s Penekamp
Coral Reef State Park, Key Largo, FL. Although badly broken up, the ship
is one of the most popular dives in the Keys and an underwater
(l) Benwood's keel stingers; (r) Bent shell plate
from her hull.
(l) All that remains of her bottom to hull framing; (r) Two bolts still hold the
steel plates together.
(l) Close up of some of her stringers; (r) Valve station and piping.