Sueco de Arizon Shipwreck rests in 9' of water in the Florida Keys

Sueco de Arizon Shipwreck doesn’t have any marker or mooring buoys to mark the dive site. The depth of the water is 9'. It’s located just offshore Conch Key. This is NOT a Sanctuary Preservation Area. There are two sets of GPS Coordinates 24'46.625N and 080'53.372W second site is 24'46.728N and 080'53.480W.

Nuestra Senora del Rosario Santo Domingo, San Antonio y San Vincente Ferrer was her name. Sueco was her nickname. She was a small merchant ship owned by Jacinto Arizon. Her captain was Juan Jose de Arizon. She was a Swedish built ship.

She was loaded with a cargo of tobacco, tanned animal hides, dyes, indigo, porcelain and silver coins. She sailed toward the rear of the fleet near Almiranta and Angustias.

Sueco de Arizon Shipwreck site

The 1733 Fleet had left Havana harbor on Friday the 13th September, 1733. These sailors as well as all sailors were very superstitious. They all knew that you never leave port on Friday the 13th. On Saturday, September 14 the winds switched to the east and began to howl. The skies turned dark and the rain began to pour. Word came from the El Capitan to turn back and run to Cuba. It was too late for seventeen of the twenty two ships in the fleet. Four made it back to Havana and one sailed on to Spain.

The rest of the fleet was battered by the hurricane. It drove the fleet toward the islands of the Florida Keys. Many were pounded on the jagged coral reefs while others made it thru only to run hard aground in the shallow waters that surrounds the Keys. Sueco de Arizon was so small that she was driven almost all the way to shore. The winds ripped her sails and broke her mast off the ship. Her rudder was pulled from the stern of the vessel as she was pounding on the ocean floor. She grounded in only nine feet of water just off Conch Key. All passengers and crew on board made it safely to shore. Soon after the storm passed, they were able to salvage all the cargo and silver coins from the ship.

Today Sueco de Arizon is two circular piles of ballast stones in the turtle grass. That’s why I gave you two GPS coordinates. Over the years her hull was battered by hurricanes and winter storms. As her hull weakened she began to give up her ballast stones. She was moved closer to shore as the years passed giving up stones all the way.

If you snorkel this Florida Keys shipwreck today, you can follow the trail of ballast stones from just near the shore out to the two larger ballast stone piles.

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