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USS Kendrick Is Extreme Technical Diving Key West
The USS Kendrick is a an extreme diving site situated 10 miles off Key West Florida.
This 3 battle star Bristol class destroyer was commissioned in September, 1942.
She served in WW II even after her rudder was hit by a torpedo, severely affecting her steering.
Once the Kendrick was seaworthy again, she continued to see action.
As part of the Allied forces, she provided gunfire support to troops fighting against the enemy Axis in Italy.
Kendrick Wreck Conditions
In March, 1968 the Navy used her sleek form for demolition testing and eventually the Kendrick sank to the ocean floor.
Today, her 348 foot long frame with it's narrow 36 foot beam, sits upright in an east to west direction at a depth of 325 feet with portions rising to 250 feet.
Considering her length and depth, only technical divers, in very good shape, and using a proper mix of gas can consider wreck diving her recesses.
When Florida Keys wreck diving you'll find the Kendrick has additional challenges, over and above the obvious problems associated with her greater depth. She is unmarked, sits close to the current and her beam is quite narrow. Without GPS coordinates, these factors make locating and landing on the Kendrick almost impossible.
Courtesy YouTube.com and aocfishman00 USS Wilkes Barre and USS Kendrick
Even for technical divers, reaching her lower depths can be quite complicated as the current can be exceptionally strong. Once you've arrived at the wreck, the current will still work against you or pull you around, making every movement an effort.
The water temperature is also considerably colder at these depths than further up. The chilly temperature, combined with the strong current, can make movement extremely difficult.
This is one of those Key West wreck dives, that substantially rewards those technical divers with the right scuba diving certification. Scuba diving Key West at this level, the underwater world takes on a whole new look and feel.
The few fish you'll find will be larger, the water colder by as much as 40 degrees from surface to bottom, and the pull of the current is strong, very strong.
This is total high octane adrenalin, and one of the most invigorating rushes you'll experience as you brave to go where few other wreck divers can or dare.
What's also interesting about this Key West dive is that even though they tested explosive ordnance on her, she's in relatively intact condition.
She was properly prepped before the exercises began, and some of her machinery and equipment were removed. However, many of the Kendrick portholes are intact, and while her hull is split in two, the pieces are fairly close together. This means that unlike the
Wilkes-Barre, she's treated as a one dive trip.
At-A-Glance Wreck Diving Description and GPS Coordinates
USS Kendrik - Destroyer - 348' Location
10 miles from Key West GPS Co-ordinates
24 27.609N 81 36.065W Markers
Technical Diving Depth
Good Dive Site Description
Water is cold and current can be very strong, although occasionally it can be very minimal. Ship rests east - west, split in two, but in good condition with a hole in starboard Marine Life
Brittle stars, shark, snapper, grouper, scamp, amberjacks. The number and variety of marine life found here is quite minimal due to strong currents and chilly waters
Anyone who's been scuba diving Florida Keys and seen her sleek form, marvels at her build, and her razor sharp bow. This however is not one of your "for the weak of heart" Florida Keys shipwrecks.
Not only does it take a fair amount of bravado to venture down to these bone-chilling depths, it takes considerable strength. On this dive trip, stamina and skill are also critical as the current rips and tears at you, making you every movement seemingly impossible. But for those who make this scuba diving trip - what a ride at the USS Kendrick!
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