Skip to main content
  1. Sports
  2. Recreation
  3. Water Sports

Miami receives new artificial reef courtesy of Reef Guard Association

Ophelia Brian just before her sinking on December 30, 2009

More Photos

Ophelia Brian just before her sinking on December 30, 2009
© 2010 Robin V. Burr

The coral reefs off Miami-Dade County’s shores received some relief from the pressure of recreational divers and fishermen with the sinking of its newest artificial reef known as the Ophelia Brian. The Miami-Dade Reef Guard Association (MIRA), in carrying out its mission of protecting and safeguarding Miami-Dade’s coral reefs, solicited and received a generous donation so they could arrange for the placement of this new vessel, especially since there has not been a sinking since 2004.

The 210 foot freighter, built in 1965 by J.J. Sietas in Hamburg, Germany christened Hoheburg and lastly called Sea Taxi, became the Ophelia Brian when she sunk at a pre-permitted site off Key Biscayne recently. The vessel is a sister ship to two very popular, previously sunk Miami-Dade artificial reefs -- the Ultra Freeze and the Deep Freeze. It's been renamed several times in the past 40 years, most recently called the Sea Taxi, as you can see painted on the side of the vessel, in this photo taken just prior to being scuttled.

The artificial reef created by the wreck site will provide recreational diving, ecotourism and fishing to the residents of Miami-Dade County and visitors from all over the world. MIRA’s purchase of Ophelia Brian was made possible by a generous donation from the Brian and Lavinia Snyder Foundation, solicited by Captain Mike Beach, who spearheaded the project.

They chose to rename the wreck after their daughter, Ophelia, for her eighteenth birthday in 2010. The Ophelia Brian artificial reef site will assist in diverting diving and fishing pressure from natural coral reefs in the area.

The MIRA organization is selling medallions and stickers for $10 a piece in order to continue to raise funds for Miami-Dade County artificial reef and mooring buoy programs. For more information, call 305-861-6277 or visit and look for a list of dive shops where you can purchase a medallion.

Robin V. Burr, Scuba Examiner
Personal Scuba Instruction
Miami, Florida USA




  • Stephen A. Smith apologizes
    Stephen A. Smith: Ray Rice rant was 'most egregious error of my career'
    Domestic Violence
  • Maria Kirilenko slideshow
    Feast your eyes on the former fiance of Alex Ovechkin: The newly-single Maria Kirilenko
    20 Photos
  • New York Yankees fan returns lost Red Sox World Series ring to owner
    MLB News
  • Peyton Manning dancing
    Peyton Manning shows off his formidable dancing skills at training camp
    NFL News
  • Bagwell becoming porn star
    Buff Bagwell has the stuff, but his Vivid dreams have not come true just yet
    Fight Sports
  • Grave defiler identified
    Die-hard Browns fan identified in Art Modell’s grave defiling video
    Crimes & Court