This year marks the 50th anniversary of one of Key Largo’s most iconic scuba diving sites. Popular with both Scuba divers and snorkelers it has been attracting visitors to Key Largo since it was sunk on Aug 25th 1965. The Statue of Christ of the Deep, or more accurately, “Christ of the Abyss”, sits in fairly shallow water in what is now the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
Plans to protect the coral reefs off Key Largo started in the early 1930’s, but opposition from property owners as well as the Monroe County Commissioners stopped the plan. It wasn’t until the editor of the Miami Herald, John Pennekamp, led the fight to protect the reefs for scuba divers and snorkelers that action happened. President Eisenhower proclaimed the reefs as the Key Largo Coral Reef preserve. This name was changed in 1963 to the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State park. The Statue was sunk in 1965 onto a concrete pad constructed by Park rangers after the Underwater Society of America had donated it to the park.
Even though most people visit Key Largo Dry rocks to see the statue, most are amazed at the amount of fish that live in the area. As part of a Special Preservation Area, all of the corals, shells and fish life in the area have been strictly protected for over 50 years!
Join Sea Dwellers Dive Center of Key Largo as we celebrate 50 years of diving this world famous dive site. Throughout the month of August, we will be featuring special dive trips to the Christ Statue. More information on diving the Statue will be posted as it becomes available.
Thanks to All!
Sea Dwellers Dive Center of Key Largo