The Arida was a 165 foot sister ship to the Lakeland which was sunk in August of 1982. Like the Lakeland, she was a landing craft utility vessel (LCU) from the Vietnam War era.
She sits in 88 feet of water and offers 25 feet of relief laying on her side, but over the years she has been torn apart by storms and much of the ship has collapsed.
The Arida has a huge picturesque propeller, great for posing and taking photos. At one time, over 10 years ago, there was a huge jewfish (over 600 pounds) that called the Arida it's home. He was quite friendly and laying next to him he spanned the tip of your fins to your outstretched hands. He disappeared, as have many of these behemoths. I would like to think that he has moved on to a quieter home as I would hate to think that such a friendly monster met with an unkindly end.
Only now, after a 10 year moritorium, is the jewfish population (Goliath Grouper) is finally starting to return to South Florida.
You can arrange to dive her with RJ Diving Ventures located at South Beach Marina. Call 305-864-3040 for more information. And watch for the jewfish!
Robin V. Burr, Scuba Examiner
Personal Scuba Instruction
Miami, Florida USA