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Divers investigate shipwreck in Florida Keys

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Underwater archaeologists are investigating a shipwreck found scattered on Pickles Reef off the coast of Key Largo.

Is the submerged debris field primarily a single wreck, perhaps one of the 23 ships with names that include Lion, Mimi, S.S. Oxford and Hope of London that Key West Admiralty court records document as sunk, abandoned, lost or wrecked on that reef in the 1800s? Or is it the remnants of several wrecks, from different eras?

And are the numerous cement cylinders even connected to the wreckage? Or was it cargo a boat’s crew offloaded to lighten the load enough to get off the treacherous reef, which at some points is less than 10 feet deep?

“We don’t know, but we have enthusiastically been trying to pin this wreck down for a number of years now,” said Brenda S. Altmeier, program support specialist with the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary — in which the wreck site is located.

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Story: Cammy Clark, Miami Herald | Photo: Cammy Clark, Miami Herald

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