A S S O C I A T I O N   OF   U N D E R W A T E R   E X P L O R E R S  

August 26, 2006
"28 Fathom Wreck" and "Mexican Pride"

Based on the available archival record and attributes found at the wreck site commonly called the "28 Fathom Wreck," AUE has tentatively identified this unknown shipwreck as the schooner MILLIE R. BOHANNON.  The BOHANNON was a 162-foot long schooner built in 1891 by J.W. Abbott's Sons of Milford, Delaware.  The 579-ton vessel was abandoned while foundering approximately 50 miles off Egmont Key on February 16, 1919.  She was en route from St. Andrews (Panama City) to Cuba with a cargo of 400,000 board feet of lumber. 

The wreck of the "28 Fathom Wreck" rests in approximately 185 feet of water 60 miles off Tampa Bay.  Only trace elements of the ship remain.  The bow is obvious due to the windlass and the hawse pipes, while the stern is largely disguised under quarried ballast rock.  Copper sheathing and bronze pins are found throughout the site.  Little of the hull remains, with only lower portions visible amidships.  The most significant feature on the site is the large mound of eroded lumber amidships.  This appears to be the cargo of the BOHANNON.  While an exact measurement is not possible, the dimensions appear similar to that of the BOHANNON.

A preliminary survey of the wreck known as the "Mexican Pride" reveals the vessel appears to formerly have been a large freighter that was eventually converted into a barge before sinking.  It is unclear if the deck surface covered by a layer of concrete or ferro-cement was original to the vessel or a repair sometime later during her service life.

(l) Remains of a mast; (r) bronze pin protruding out of a loose section of hull.

(l) Hawse pipe amidst the bow wreckage; (r) scattered bronze pins.

(l) Cargo of eroded lumber amidships; (r) remaining section of intact lower hull, clad with copper sheathing.

(l) Ballast of cut rock towards the stern; (r) vertical chain windlass on the "Mexican Pride".

(l) One of many goliath grouper on the "Mexican Pride"; (r) apparent ferro-cement layer on the deck of the "Mexican Pride".

(l) The remains of the stern superstructure; (r) anchor chain flaked out from the chain locker.