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COPENHAGEN FLORIDA UNDERWATER ARCHAEOLOGICAL PRESERVE
Wrecked in 1900, registered in 2001
located on the outside of the 2nd reef
on the Pompano drop off just north of
the Sea Watch Restaurant ,

Web Address: http://www.co.broward.fl.us/dni02700.htm

Contacts:


Purpose:
“The Copenhagen was built in England in 1898 and was one of several single-screw steamships that became the pride of Glasgow's merchant fleet.  Constructed for cargo capacity and strength with a double bottom, and powered by triple expansion steam engines, the ship was put into service under contracts across the Atlantic. 

“Her career was cut short on May 26, 1900, when she ran hard aground on a rocky ledge close to shore just south of Pompano Beach. She was carrying 4,940 tons of coal on a voyage from Philadelphia to Havana. Despite extensive salvage efforts, the ship could not be freed from the reef, although her cargo was saved. The Copenhagen remained visible above the water for years until WWII naval fighter pilots helped her to become part of the reef by using her for target practice.

“The wreck of the Copenhagen is located approximately 3.3 nautical miles south of Hillsboro Inlet just outside the second reef on the Pompano drop-off adjacent to mooring buoys 3 and 4. Wreckage is scattered over an area of approximately 300 feet or more. The wreck lies with her bow pointed to the south and is approximately parallel to the reef. The depth varies from 16 to 31 feet, making it an ideal recreational dive spot.

“The site was dedicated a State Underwater Archaeological Preserve in 1994.  The Copenhagen came to rest along a rocky ledge, made up of large limestone blocks divided by cracks and crevasses. After grounding, the ship listed to the port side; her starboard hull eventually collapsed onto the rocks and into crevasses, while the port side slumped onto the deeper sand bottom.

“Over the years, much of the hull has fallen apart and settled over this uneven terrain. The lower hull is still in its correct order, especially in the stern.  Coal from the ship's bunkers and cargo, camouflaged by marine growth, litters the bottom near the wreck.  Today, much of the ship's structure has become part of the reef, and the wreckage provides an ideal haven for all kinds of marine life. Hard and soft corals and multicolored sponges thrive on the steel hull plates.  Tropical fish dart in and out of the twisted structure, which serves as a sheltered nursery.  Sea fans sway in the gentle surge along the length of the ship. The pillow block that supported the propeller shaft is a focal point for curious parrot fish. Empty beds for the ship's two boilers today house a population of damsel fish and sergeant majors energetically defending their niche in the sunken wreck.

“As with all other historical or archaeological sites on submerged bottomlands, the Copenhagen is protected by Florida laws which prohibit the unauthorized disturbance, excavation or removal of artifacts.”


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