In June 2002, the 510 ft USS Spiegel Grove was set to make diving history by becoming the largest ship ever scuttled to form an artificial reef. Highly anticipated by divers, it was hoped that the Spiegle Grove would provide an alternate site for SCUBA diving and therefore reduce traffic on the fragile coral reefs around the Florida keys. Unfortunately, the ship was a little over-anxious to get underwater and began to sink prematurely, capsizing and coming to reset with stern sitting on the ocean floor and the bow floating on the surface. It sat in that position for a month until engineers were able to lay her to rest on her side on the sandy ocean floor where she sat for the next 3 years. Further efforts were made to right the ship, but all failed.
Enter hurricane Dennis, whose winds caused 20ft waves that drove ocean currents much faster then normal, and as luck would have, imparted enough force to flip the Spiegle Grove right side up. Before and after pictures can be found at spiegelgrove.com. More information on the history of the USS Spiegel Grove can be found at The University Of Indiana’s Spiegel Grove page.