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(underwater images courtesy of SeaWolf Productions)

The 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 photographer’s dream.

(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.