The 324-foot Lady Luck, a former New York City environmental tanker ship, is now resting in the sand, 120 feet underwater in Greater Fort Lauderdale. The ship, the length of a football field and complete with whimsical pieces of art on its deck, has been scuttled one mile from the Pompano Beach fishing pier today.
Lady Luck is one of the biggest contributions to Florida’s artificial reef system and surrounded by 16 other existing wrecks already covered with marine life. It is the centerpiece of what will become Shipwreck Park, an underwater dive attraction and cultural arts park. Reachable via a 10-minute boat ride from Hillsboro Inlet, (www.shipwreckparkpompano.org) it is one of the most easily accessible major dive sites in the country.
Lady Luck’s hull now rests in the sand in about 120 feet of water with the top of her stack reaching about 50 feet under the surface. Noted Greater Fort Lauderdale artist Dennis MacDonald was hired to create displays in his Pompano Beach facility, including a faux casino for the ship deck which features poker tables, slot machines, a cascade of gigantic dice, an octopus craps dealer, card sharks and a mermaid cocktail waitress. Additional ship features for divers to explore include the ship’s 16 staterooms, the captain’s deck, galley, engine room, tanker holding bays and there are plans to sink additional pieces of art on the deck.
Lady Luck is expected to draw 35,000 divers annually, with local dive operators including South Florida Diving Headquarters, Pompano Dive Center, Dixie Divers and Gold Coast Scuba, amongst others, offering diving tours to the wreck.
Lady Luck was purchased from the City of New York by Shipwreck Park, Inc., a not-for-profit organization initially funded by the City of Pompano Beach and the Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park in a public-private endeavor.