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Destin Liberty Ship/Thomas Hayward Reef

Thomas Hayward, known as the Destin Liberty Ship, was a 360-foot long steel Liberty Ship built by the Alabama Drydock Company in Mobile, Alabama in 1942. Liberty ships were a class of United States cargo ship that were cheaply mass-produced during World War II. This vessel served during the war by transporting allied troops from the United States to Europe. After its WWII and Korean War service, it was purchased by the Florida Department of Natural Resources and prepped for designation as an artificial reef. It was sunk south of Okaloosa Island pier on April 14th, 1977. One of the most popular dive sites in the area, the artificial reef is 90 feet deep and rises up to 25 feet off the seafloor, providing visitors with plenty of superstructure to explore. The site is home to a multitude of marine life including goliath grouper, barracuda, and the occasional loggerhead.

Date of Sinking Depth Length Beam Location
April 14, 1977 90 ft. 360 ft. 57 ft. 30° 18.3756’ N
086° 36.222’ W
Date of Sinking April 14, 1977
Depth 90 ft.
Length 360 ft.
Beam 0 ft.
Location 30° 18.3756’ N
086° 36.222’ W

Destin, FL

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