Butler Bay Wrecks

Neighborhood: Other - St. Croix

This bay, on the west end of St. Croix, includes two distinct sites featuring deep and shallow wrecks. Rosa Maria, a 177-foot steel-hulled freighter, is the deepest of the wrecks and was the first to be sunk intentionally. Brightly hued rope, stovepipe and barrel sponges can be found on the ship's hull. Blackbar soldierfish, mahogany snapper and French, queen and gray angels are regulars. Coakley Bay, a former oil refinery tugboat, is the newest of the wrecks. Suffolk Maid is a 144-foot trawler that ran aground during a 1980's hurricane. It is considered a shallow wreck. Creole wrasses are the predominant residents, but a green moray comes to visit every now and then. Virgin Islander, sunk in 1992, is a 300-foot oil barge and is the largest of the wrecks. It is heavily encrusted with sponges and coral. Look for tiny fans of pink Stylaster coral in the recesses and for stingrays beneath the ship. North Wind, a 75-foot oceangoing tugboat, was sunk at Butler Bay after being used as a prop in the TV movie Dreams of God-The Mel Fisher Story. Snappers, hinds, sergeants, fairy basslets and chromis inhabit this wreck.

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