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Florida Keys Dive Sites - Coffin's Patch
A conglomerate of six distinct patch reefs, each with a unique identity defined by a predominant coral species. For example, at Pillar Coral Patch dozens of intact pillar coral heads thrust their fuzzy polyps to snare passing nutrients. Although there is some question on the location, the Nuestra Senora de la Maravillas was sunk in a storm here in 1656 and only partially salvaged by the Spanish early on after the wreck.

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Location  24 41.47     80 57.68



THE STAKE is roughly 400 feet by 75 feet oval shaped patch reef is the best known and most frequented of the Coffins Patch group. It got it’s name from a large piece of iron pipe that juts several feet out of the water at an angle from the reef. The pipe is actually one of several that are the remnants of a lighthouse that marked the reef. During the killer hurricane of 1935 the lighthouse was destroyed. This was the same hurricane that ended Henry Flagler’s railroad. The reef itself has depths that range from 7 to 25 feet. It is very popular for snorkelers and divers who enjoy shallow reefs, and because of its stake, it is relatively easy to locate.


Markers   (buoy)


Experience Level:   Novice
Present Condition  
Sea-Life Snorkelers will especially appreciate the shallow elkhorn forests found throughout Coffin's Patch in less than 20 feet of water.
Sanctuary area - no lobster/fishing
Local Dive Shops Marathon -
Web Sources Exhibit of underwater treasures found off Marathon, Florida Keys    Excellent site by Middle Keys Scuba w/ tons of pics

Coffins Patch Sanctuary Preservation Area

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This page last updated:  01/04/2008