The Fort Myers area is home to several dive sites that make it an excellent home base for diving enthusiasts, as well as anyone who is interested in diving for the first time. The warm ocean waters are filled with all types of marine life. Goliath grouper, weighing an average of 300 pounds, are common in this area.
There is something romantic, exciting and a little scary about exploring a shipwreck. There are many wrecks within a short distance from Fort Meyers. Some were deliberately sunk, while others were overtaken by storms.
This World War II ship was sunk in July 2012. It was sunk in such a way that it sits upright on the ocean floor. Designed to be a veteran’s memorial, wreck dive and an artificial coral reef, it still has its propellers, lifeboats and decommissioned guns.
The Bay Ronto
She survived a torpedo from a German U-Boat in 1918, but a year later a hurricane sank her within minutes. A nearby ferry was able to rescue all who were aboard. This is an enormous, 400-foot long wreck. She rests upside down and in two large pieces. Advanced divers can explore inside the wreck.
Artificial reefs and other dive sites
Historically, artificial reefs have been created by accident when marine life takes over a sunken ship or other structure. Today, communities create artificial reefs as a way to attract tourists and give true coral reefs a chance to recover from years of use. Artificial reefs also help local fishermen by giving fish a welcome habitat.
Belton Johnson Reef
This concrete reef was named after a popular local fishing guide. It is one of the closest reefs to Sanibel Island.
Created from debris from an old bridge in 1993, this is one of the most popular dive sites in the Fort Myers area.
This ongoing reef project began in 1994. There are currently over 14 individual structures for divers to explore. Structures include two 25-foot cell towers as well as a 2013 sunken sculpture.
The Blue Hole
A freshwater sinkhole that is about 100 feet wide, divers can generally explore it one trip. The sinkhole has a depth of over 150 feet, and the limestone walls are covered in a wide variety of coral.
Saltwater Hot Springs
The Saltwater Hot Springs, attracts a large quantity of marine life that is not seen anywhere else. The spring originates in the Atlantic Ocean, travels under the Everglades and comes out in the Gulf of Mexico. Since the depth is only 40 feet, this is a great spot for beginning divers.