• Empire Mica

Empire Mica

Dive the famous National Historic Wreck the Empire Mica, one of Floridas must dive wrecks.

  • Depths between 100ft and 115ft
  • Must be at least Advanced Open Water or equivelant (Deep Diver Certification prefered)
  • Includes Nitrox, Must be Nitrox Certified (1 day Nitrox class available upon request)
  • 2 tank dive, 6 to 7 hours total
  • Optional 3 tank dive, 7 to 8 hours total

* If no dives are listed on the schedule please contact us to set up a dive charter.

Starting from

Availability: Contact us for booking information

How the Empire Mica came to be located just off the shore line of Cape San Blas

On board Empire Mica, the midnight-to 0400 watch was quietly conning the ship. Bentley, two other officers and three crewmen manned the tanker’s bridge, while three other crewmen were serving as lookouts on its raised after deck. Then, two of the stern lookouts simultaneously saw U-67’s conning tower and the incoming torpedo wakes. Bentley, in a report to U.S. naval authorities twelve days later, said, “[B]ut before alarm could be sounded, the first torpedo struck slightly abaft of amidships port side, followed by a second torpedo a few seconds later which struck on port side slightly forward of the after deck.”

The twin blasts ripped open Empire Mica’s hull and ignited the 12,000 tons of vaporizing oil. A colossal fireball engulfed the tanker and rose into the sky where it was seen by civilians on shore from Cape San Blas to Apalachicola.

In the fiery carnage, 33 of Bentley’s people on board (27 crewmen and six of the seven gunners) perished in the flames, including the occupants of two life boats that were caught by the flaming oil on the surface of the water. Bentley and 13 survivors managed to escape the inferno. They were rescued by a Coast Guard auxiliary vessel after four hours and landed at Apalachicola. The next day, Bentley and six of the Empire Mica survivors were taken by boat to Panama City, where they were treated for burns and injuries.

The gutted, burned-out hulk of the Empire Mica drifted for nine hours before finally sinking upright in 120ft of water.

Meanwhile, U-67 reversed course and was returning to the Mississippi River mouth to resume the hunt there. Between July 6 and 13, Müller-Stöckheim and his men sank another three ships totaling 16,099 GRT, before heading for the Florida Straits and their month-long journey back to France.



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