Benwood 2

During WWII, near midnight on April 9th, 1942, the Norwegian merchant freighter Benwood was on a routine path from Florida to Virginia, transporting a load of phosphate rock. It was running with no lights to avoid being spotted by German U-boats, which was common for ships throughout the war. But the Benwood wasn’t the only ship in these waters running completely blacked out. The Robert C. Tuttle, an American freighter ship traveling to Texas was also running without lights. The two ships collided and the Tuttle ripped open the Benwood’s starboard side, sending it to the bottom soon after. The ship was deemed unsalvageable, and was later used for target practice by the military. The Benwood was finally deemed a protected site in 1975. This is a wonderful dive for intermediate divers, since it is in relatively shallow water, and can be explored completely in one dive. An abundance of wildlife has overtaken the wreck over the past 70 years.

Atlantic Silversides on the Benwood Wreck
Benwood Wreck
The wreck of the Benwood


Skill Level
Open Water

Average Depth
30ft (10m)

Max Depth
55ft (17m)


Boat Traffic



Type of Ship
Norwegian Merchant Freighter


April 9, 1942


Mooring Buoy Map of Benwood Wreck

mooring buoy map courtesy of NOAA


About Boone

Jason Boone created Dive Documentaries to inspire viewers to care about the Florida Keys underwater world through education, exploration and storytelling. He has a BA in Television Production and an MA in Digital Journalism and Design, and a passion for short-form documentary filmmaking. His work has been featured on National Geographic, Discovery, Current TV and Yahoo!.

2 thoughts on “Benwood

Comments are closed.