SS Copenhagen

Did you know there are shipwrecks off the Pompano Pier? here is the story of one.

The single screw steamer Copenhagen was built in Sunderland, England, and launched on February 22, 1898. She was registered at Glasgow and belonged to the Glasgow Shipowners Company, Ltd. The double bottom steel hulled ship was 325 feet in length, 47 feet in breadth, and 25.6 feet in depth. She was rigged as a schooner and powered by three triple expansion steam engines, and rated at 3,279 tons. The Copenhagen was used to haul cargo across the Atlantic.

The Copenhagen's last voyage began on May 20, 1900, out of Philadelphia, bound for Havana with 4,940 tons of coal. Six days later, off the Florida coast, she suddenly crashed at full speed into a reef, three-quarters of a mile offshore of present-day Pompano Beach, Florida. The cause of the crash was investigated and ruled to be due to "improper navigation" by the captain of the ship.

Stranded on the reef, the crew began to unload the ship's cargo. After repeated attempts to free the ship from the reef, the Copenhagen was abandoned as a total wreck. The vessel was valued at $250,000 and her cargo at $12,500.

The Copenhagen Today

The wreck of the Copenhagen remained above the water for some time. As the ship's remains gradually became totally submerged, her identity was forgotten. Skin and scuba divers eventually rediscovered the site as a colorful haven for fish and corals. Today, much of the ship's structure has become part of the reef, and the wreckage provides an ideal haven for all kinds of marine life. Nominated by a local dive boat captain, the wreck of the Copenhagen became Florida's fifth shipwreck preserve in June of 1994.

How to Find the SS Copenhagen

The wreck is situated just outside the second reef on the "Pompano Drop Off," south of Hillsboro Inlet. The site is adjacent to reef buoys #3 and #4, and varies in depth from 16 to 31 feet. LORAN coordinates for the wreck are 14269.7 and 62103.7. GPS coordinates are 26 deg 12.349 min N and 80 deg 05.108 min W. A waterproof color field guide to the site has been developed by the Broward Office of Natural Resources Protection.


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