The Cayman Salvager now lies one mile southwest of the Nine-Foot Stake. This 187-foot steel-hulled buoy tender was built in 1937 for the Coast Guard and was later used as a cable layer. She transported Cuban refugees during the Mariel boat lift in 1979, resulting in her seizure by the US government. After being seized, she was sitting at the dock awaiting her fate when she sank unexpectedly. In 1985, she was raised and prepared to be sunk again as an artificial reef in 300 feet of water. However, while being towed out for resinking, she prematurely sank in just 90 feet of water, and that is where she currently resides. She settled on her side but was righted a few months later in 1985 by Hurricane Kate.
In preparation for her scheduled sinking, the Cayman Salvager had been cleaned and stripped to create a smoother structure to foster pelagic life. Because of the removal of restricting parts, penetration is possible, but is considered dangerous. It is recommended that divers who desire to pursue such a mission do so during a return dive and not on the first exploration. Bar jacks and schools of silversides frequent this site. Divers have reported that a 200-pound jewfish and a six-foot green moray eel call this vessel home. The dangerous aspects of this location are strong currents and the depth. A careful diver will find this artificial reef a great chance for exploration and a unique dive.
These cards provide a detailed depiction of the Cayman Salvager wreck and dive site near Key West, Florida. Each waterproof card is double sided, made of durable PVC plastic, and is designed to be taken on the dive. They are also three hole punched to fit in standard log books.