While they were waiting for the scheduled midday deployment of the USS Mohawk TISIRI's team members investigated Lee county's hopper car reef. This site is actually close enough to the Mohawk that TISIRI divers were almost not able to dive it because of the mandated Mohawk sinking safety zone. Fortunately, although close, the hopper car reef was outside the restricted area.
Pictures of the hopper car reef and its inhabitants below.
TISIRI divers entered the water around 9:30am not knowing what to expect when they reached the sea floor having never dove this reef area before. Water was very clear near the surface but degraded to about 15-20 feet of visibility at the ocean floor. The reef is described as being made from metal hopper cars and TISIRI divers encountered reef material very similar to some older metal barge reefs they have investigated in the past. The structure provided relief up to 20 feet in some areas and could best be described as mangled metal. Divers reported a great dive but warn other divers to be cautious while diving due to the projecting metal pieces throughout. Furthermore this is a great area to lose a boat anchor. In fact, TISIRI divers had to retrieve the anchor after this dive as it became lodged in the metal structure.
Divers encountered a diversity of marine including Goliath Grouper, Amber jack, Gag Grouper, Snapper, and much more. All in all a great productive reef destination worth a visit if in the Lee County area.
For more information on this specific reef including GPS coordinates visit here.