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Old 01-08-2013, 05:20 PM
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RickI RickI is offline
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Arrow Video - Free Diving The Ancient Mariner In Outstanding Bluewater Visibility!

First a video of several free dives on the Ancient Mariner, passing over and through several parts of the wreck.

and now some still shots taken with the new GoPro Hero 3 camera.

A composite of screen captures from GoPro3 video of the wreck.
(CLICK photo for full sized image)

We went out with Dixie Diver.

Looking forward from aft of the wheelhouse. I understand waves and currents related to Hurricane Sandy caused those plates to buckle resulting in the settling of the house. Tropical systems can propagate tremendous wave forces underwater over long distances.

Moving along with two GoPros on a Quikpod Monopod and a third one in my hand to capture varied perspectives.

Scooter free diving down to the wreck.

The stern

Passing below decks

Heading into the wheelhouse

Coming up on the bow

We drifted dove the west facing ledge of the third reef in about 50 ft. of water on the second dive. This six foot shark showed up briefly during the dive.

The aft section

This is what this USCG site has to say about the origins of the Ancient Mariner originally as the SS Nemesis, commissioned in 1934.

WPC-111 Nemesis

Argo class Patrol Cutter:
Displacement: 350 tons (full load)
Length: 165'
Beam: 25'3"
Draft: 10'
Speed: 16 knots
Armament: 2 3"/50 DP, 2 20mm AA, 2 depth charge tracks, 2 depth charge projectors, 2 rocket launchers
Complement: 7 officers, 68 enlisted
Diesel engines, twin screws; 1,340 hp
Built at Marietta Manufacturing Co., Point Pleasant, W. Va., and commissioned 10 October 1934

The vessel was descommissioned in ??? and

The restaurant Livingstons Landing on New River just to the northeast of the courthouse which opened in 1979. It had been remodeled to look like a three deck African steamer increasing seating area and given the vessel a decidedly strange look. It closed in 1981 and reopened at the Ancient Mariner. Some of the bilges flooded causing the vessel to capsize at the dock laying on its port side on the bottom. They undertook a major salvage job to right it. I recall that they buried massive concrete deadmen in the ground to serve as holdfasts for several large winches. They secured the cables to the vessel and winched it vertical again.

We ate onboard three or so times over the years and thankfully never became ill. It was a popular restaurant until a kitchen worker spread hepatitis to 109 people served on the vessel. This set a world record and putting the restaurant out of business in short order. It was eventually sold and converted to an artificial reef and subsequently sunk in 70 ft. of water southeast of the Deerfield Beach fishing pier in 1991.

FKA, Inc.

transcribed by:
Rick Iossi

Last edited by RickI; 01-09-2013 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 08-21-2019, 09:53 PM
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More about the vessel and former restaurants in this Sun Sentinel article:


Originally, it was christened the Nemesis, a proud 350-ton, 165-foot U.S. Coast Guard cutter.

It was built in 1934 during the days of Prohibition and chased rum-runners around the tip of Florida. Later, it patrolled the Eastern Seaboard during World War II and was said to have destroyed a German submarine.

After such a distinguished military career, no one could have guessed that, as a civilian, it would become such a miserable source of controversy in Fort Lauderdale.

But it sits now a tramp, berthed on the New River just east of the Southeast Third Avenue bridge. It is sun-faded and tired, slightly listing and lackluster.

It is, of course, at least under its most recent identity, The Ancient Mariner. And although it has lost several battles as a floating restaurant, its owners are mounting yet another campaign to make it a viable business venture.

The question one might ask is, how many times can one boat be sunk and raised -- figuratively in the financial sense, literally in the physical sense?

The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind -- either that, or as many times as its old hull will endure.

Even back in the summer of 1979, when the vessel first docked in Fort Lauderdale, it was escorted by discontent.

Then dubbed Livingstone's Landing, it took up five berths along the city docks, prompting protests from those who were looking for dock space and turned away. Further, nearby live-aboards complained that it was ugly and hazardous.

But the city had granted the boat's owner, Jack Jackson, a veteran of managing theme restaurants, a one-year lease in return for a minimum of $20,000 or 2 percent of gross profits.

Jackson was undaunted by the naysayers. He had found the ship, at that time named The African Trader, along the Miami River, waiting to be scrapped.

He purchased it for $20,000 and sank another $480,000 into refurbishing it. Bulkheads were cut out. The engines were stripped. Two new decks, stairwells, paneling, plants, carpeting and wicker furniture were added.

All of this was to give the ship a theme, linked to the celebrated understatement of Henry Stanley. Stanley, as you will recall, was the one who found the long missing Dr. David Livingstone, a missionary in Africa in the 19th century. His greeting: "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?"

When it finally opened for business in Fort Lauderdale that fall, Livingtone's Landing was given a three-star rating as a restaurant. One of those stars was earned solely on the power of atmosphere. Diners still found the food more than acceptable, with choices such as steak, fish, barbecued pork ribs or scallops stroganoff.

A year and a half later, in February 1981, the boat closed, citing management problems and a lack of business.

Two months later at 6:30 a.m. April 28, only weeks before it was set to reopen again, it sank at its dock. It rolled over on its port side and came to rest half-submerged in about 10 feet of water.

When they raised the boat 17 days later, at a cost of $85,000, salvage crews found that small rust holes in the stern had caused it to sink. The boat, by then sold to restaurateur Thomas Quinn, was shored up, refurbished and reopened again.

And the rest brings us to modern times. The boat was again heading into financial trouble in March this year when a hepatitis outbreak resulted in 109 reported cases. By May, the restaurant closed, again.

Since then, it has been suggested that it be sunk as an artificial reef, or moved to Stuart, to try its luck as a restaurant there.

Under the latest development, the new owners, K.S.S. Enterprises Inc., plan to spend $200,000 to renovate it again, give the city advance rent and hope to reopen again next month.

It is very tempting for one such as myself, who has enjoyed many a breezy lunch on the upper deck, to say let's give the old boat one more chance. Despite its naughtiness, it is still this city's stepchild.

But in light of the progress that is sweeping through Fort Lauderdale, this once-proud cutter now seems out of place."
FKA, Inc.

transcribed by:
Rick Iossi
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Old 08-21-2019, 09:56 PM
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Read the Sun Sentinel's award-winning journalism


The Ancient Mariner, a once-proud U.S. Coast Guard cutter that became an albatross as a floating restaurant, slipped beneath the surface of the sea on Sunday.

The 165-foot ship was scuttled in 70 feet of water off Deerfield Beach just south of the Palm Beach County line to become South Florida's newest artificial reef.

The vessel's final journey began at 6:02 a.m. on Sunday when Grady Marine tugboat operators gingerly pulled the ship away from its New River berth in Fort Lauderdale.

Once off Deerfield Beach, the boat was anchored and two starboard doors were removed to allow water to enter.

It took nearly 90 minutes for the 57-year-old vessel to fill with water and disappear from sight. When it did, at 1:26 p.m., the top wooden deck and bar erupted to the surface, obliterating the metal frame superstructure.

The sinking was complicated by a squall that kicked up 4- to 6-foot seas.

"We did what we had to do," said Steve Somerville, artificial reef coordinator for Broward County's Office of Natural Resource Protection.

In one sense, a ship is nothing more than sheets of steel welded together at the seams. In another, it is much more: It's a place where men and women work, live and sometimes die.

As a warship, the Nemesis, named after the Greek goddess of vengeance, was crewed by Coast Guardsmen who rescued Cuban refugees and hunted German submarines.

As a floating restaurant, the ship was crewed by bartenders who popped open cold beers and waitresses who served hot plates of Fisherman's Spaghetti.

It was where more than 100 people contracted hepatitis in 1986.

It was the platform from which the ashes of one of the ship's original crew members were scattered onto the waters.

It was where a young Cuban refugee, not quite 2 years old, once cavorted around the deck without a thread of clothing.

The vessel was one of 18 patrol cutters, all named after Greek mythological figures, built between 1931 and 1934 to stop illegal alcohol pouring into the United States during Prohibition.

The Nemesis, however, never stopped any rum-runners. Prohibition ended in 1933, a year before it was launched.

In January 1942, one month after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, the Nemesis joined the U.S. Navy's North Atlantic Coastal Fleet. In its first action, the Nemesis dropped depth charges off the St. Lucie Inlet on what crew members thought was a Nazi U-boat.

"It is possible the charges were dropped on the wreck of the Pan Massachusetts," declassified Coast Guard records state.

While serving as a convoy escort in the Gulf of Mexico between Texas and Florida in August 1942, the Nemesis again dropped depth charges on a suspected enemy sub. Mud, oil and air bubbled to the surface, but no wreckage was seen.

"German records uncovered after the war indicated that the U-166 had been sunk by (the) Coast Guard" in that area, military records state.

Newspaper accounts credited the Nemesis with sinking the first German submarine in U.S. waters.

After the war ended, the Nemesis resumed patrol duties out of St. Petersburg. In time, however, the country would face a problem as thousands of Cubans fled to Florida after Castro seized power in 1959.

On one rescue mission in the early 1960s, the ship picked up 37 refugees huddled in a small, broken-down boat. Many were dehydrated and suffering from diarrhea.

One of the youngest was a boy about 16 months old. Before letting him board the ship, the child's mother ripped away his soiled diaper.

"They handed him up naked," said Marc Welliver, the Nemesis' commanding officer between 1962 and 1964.

He also remembers what was perhaps the ship's most unusual mission: scattering the ashes of an ex-Nemesis crew member from the ship's gray deck.

Welliver said the former officer had been the Coast Guard's inspector at the West Virginia shipyard when the Nemesis was under construction, and later served as its first chief engineer.

"We scattered his ashes in lower Tampa Bay," Welliver said.

After three decades of Coast Guard duty, the ship was decommissioned in November 1964.

After its diesel engines were removed, the Nemesis was sold in 1966 to Auto- Marine Engineers, which towed it to the Miami River.

Lambert Hooper, president of the Miami company, said an Aruba outfit hired his firm to put new engines in the ship so it could transport cargo to the Caribbean.

"We were in the middle of repowering the vessel when the folks got caught hauling contraband with another ship," Hooper said. "All work stopped. The whole thing went into litigation."

In 1979, investors purchased the vessel and spent $500,000 remodeling it to resemble a three-deck African steamer. It was renamed Livingstone's Landing, after Dr. David Livingstone, the famed Congo River Valley explorer.

The ship was brought from Miami to the New River just east of the Southeast Third Avenue bridge in August 1979 and became Fort Lauderdale's first floating restaurant.

Livingstone's Landing closed in February 1981, but plans were soon made to reopen as the Ancient Mariner. Then disaster struck.

At 6:20 a.m. on April 28, 1981, the vessel rolled over on its port side after water seeped in through several finger-sized rust holes in the hull.

The Ancient Mariner, simply called "The Boat" by many, became popular after it was repaired and returned to its berth within two months.

In the spring of 1986, however, an even bigger catastrophe made it very unpopular.

In March, April and May, a worker who prepared salads spread hepatitis A to more than 100 people, causing the largest food-borne outbreak of hepatitis in Florida history. The victims included five other workers and 97 restaurant patrons from 11 states. The restaurant closed on May 22.

Publicity about the outbreak sank the Ancient Mariner as a restaurant. The owners filed for bankruptcy.

Over the next few years, restaurants operated aboard briefly as Chapman's River Raw Bar, the Anchorage Seafood House, Dockside 501 and Cutters.

Faced with eviction, the ship's owner, Tom Quinn, placed the vessel up for auction in March of this year. Two Mississippi businessmen wanted to convert the ship into a riverboat gambling house, but it was eventually bought by the South Florida Divers Club of Hollywood for $6,000.


Length: 165 feet

Beam: 25 feet

Displacement: 337 tons

Main engines: 2 Winston Diesels

Maximum speed: 14 knots

Cost: $258,000

Shipbuilder: Marietta Manufacturing, Point Pleasant, WV.

SOURCE: U.S Coast Guard


-- 1934: The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Nemesis is launched in July 1934 from Point Pleasant, W.Va., a town on the Ohio River..

-- 1942: The ship joins the U.S. Navy's North Atlantic Coastal Fleet and hunts Nazi subs during the war.

-- 1964: After serving the Coast Guard for 30 years, the aging ship is decommissioned in St. Petersburg.

-- 1966: The Nemesis is sold for $20,000 to a Miami marine company, which moves the vessel to the Miami River, where it sits for 13 years.

-- 1979: The ship is sold and converted into a floating restaurant. It is towed to Fort Lauderdale and renamed Livingstone's Landing.

-- 1981: The restaurant closes in February, and before it reopens as the Ancient Mariner, the ship sinks at its berth. The ship is salvaged, reopens and becomes a popular dining spot.

-- 1986: A kitchen worker infected with hepatitis A spreads it to more than 100 restaurant patrons and workers. The restaurant closes but reopens over next three years as Chapman's River Raw Bar, Anchorage Seafood House, Dockside 501 and Cutters.

-- 1989: Cutters, last business to occupy vessel, closes Halloween night.

-- 1991: The South Florida Divers Club of Hollywood buys the ship for $6,000 and donates it to Broward County's Artificial Reef Program."

FKA, Inc.

transcribed by:
Rick Iossi

Last edited by RickI; 08-22-2019 at 09:43 AM.
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