FLORIDA East Coast Shipwrecks USS Rankin Wreck Stuart
Historical and current Florida East Coast Shipwreck Information and images for scuba divers, fisherman and marine historians.




   Capt. Dan Berg's Wreck Valley Collection   

Instant Downloadable E-Book 

Shipwreck Diving E-Book  
Instant Downloadable E-Book 

The Divers Guide to Shipwrecks around the State of Florida and the Florida Keys. Includes over 240 illustrations comprised of 151 color photos, 83 black and white historical images, 8 dynamic u/w sketches.
                    How to SHIPWRECK DIVING Guide By Capt Dan Berg 


U.S.S. RANKIN Stuart

The Attack Cargo Ship U.S.S. Rankin, AKA-103, was built by the North Carolina Shipbuilding Co., Wilmington, North Carolina. She was launched on December 22, 1944, and commissioned on February 25, 1945, at Charleston Navy Yard. She was 459.2 feet long, had a 63.2 foot beam, displaced 14,200 gross tons and was powered by a 6,000 hp engine. She was designed to carry troops, landing craft and supplies and put them ashore. Her armament consisted of one 5-inch gun, eight 40 mm and sixteen 20 mm machine guns.

Some sources claim that the Rankin was involved in both the Iwo Jima and Okinawa campaigns. We know for sure that she transported 5,000 tons of Army ammunition to Okinawa. The Rankin was decommissioned on May 21, 1947, and joined the Pacific Reserve Fleet. In 1952 she was re commissioned and started a lengthy second career as support for amphibious training operations. On July 18, 1958, the Rankin participated in the amphibious force that landed 5,000 U.S. marines at Beirut, Lebanon. This landing was in response to a request from the Lebanese Government to avert a civil war. On January 1, 1969, the Rankin was reclassified LKA-103 and operated off the eastern seaboard. The Rankin also operated in Cuban waters during the Cuban Missile Crisis. She was decommissioned on May 11, 1971. The U.S.S. Rankin received one battle star for her World War II operations.

The Rankin was sunk six miles east of St. Lucie Inlet during the summer of 1988 as an artificial reef. She now rests on her starboard side in 130 to 135 feet of water with her bow pointing south-southeast. According to Joe Roberts, who has frequented the wreck, the canisters that the Rankin's 40 mm anti-aircraft guns were carried in can still be seen. Divers will first reach the wreck's superstructure at 60 feet, while her main deck is at 95 feet.

Because of the location of the wreck, dive conditions vary a great deal. Sometimes the current from the flowing gulf stream can make it difficult for divers to explore the wreck comfortably, but on other dives the current may be slight. The visibility here is often excellent, and a wide assortment of sea life reportedly frequents the area. We have had reports of large numbers of barracuda, amberjack, grouper and black sea bass.

Photo: The Attack Cargo Ship U.S.S. Rankin. Photo courtesy Joe Roberts collection.

Basic shipwreck information and images for this section of this site was taken with permission from the book Florida Shipwrecks by Daniel Berg. You are invited to submit your shipwreck related articles, images and information. As long as the text, photographs, sketches etc are of professional quality we will showcase them. Full credit will be provide and a same page link to your web site can be arranged.
Florida Shipwrecks ebook
The Divers Guide to Shipwrecks around the State of Florida and the Florida Keys,

Buy Now only $9.95
10.2 MB instant download, printable  PDF file

By Dan and Denise Berg, 180 pages. Shipwrecks are an important complement to the natural coral reefs as a sport diving attraction in Florida. From the barley discernable ballast piles of the 1733 fleet to the almost perfectly intact modern ships sunk specifically as artificial reefs throughout the state, shipwrecks inspire an aura of mystery and fascination. Florida Shipwrecks is the most comprehensive, accurate, illustrated collection of information, photographs, sketches and stories ever written about the shipwrecks around the state of Florida. This downloadable ebook contains a wealth of enlightening information that gives the readers a nostalgic glimpse into the history and present condition of over 235 shipwrecks. Florida Shipwrecks includes over 240 illustrations comprised of 151 color photos, 83 black and white historical images, 8 dynamic u/w sketches. Divers , snorkelers, marine historians, armchair sailors or anyone with a general interest in history diving or the sea will surely find this ebook fascinating, as well as indispensable.


Check out Capt. Dan's other shipwreck and Diving eBooks



Sponsored by:
The Waterfront Expo
The complete regional guide to waterfront real estate, vacation rentals and water sport activities.
  Powerboat Expo
Find a complete source of information on pontoon boats, houseboats, fishing boats, speed boats, yachts, outboard engines, marine electronics and much more.
A complete selection of designer swimsuits, bikinis, tankinis and one piece swimwear.
  Watersport Expo
A complete assortment of water sports activities and equipment ranging from whitewater rafting and kayaks to water skiing.

All photographs, sketches, images and text

Copyright Capt. Dan Berg / Aqua Explorers Inc

2745 Cheshire Dr
Baldwin NY 11510


  Shipwreck Chart Art

   New York/ New Jersey
New England  
North Carolina  
South Carolina 
Great Lakes
   Florida Shipwrecks  
   Florida Keys 
Florida East Coast   
   Florida West Coast  
   Caribbean Shipwrecks
   Bahamas Shipwrecks
   Cayman Islands  

   Truk Lagoon

   How To Guide to 
   Shipwreck Diving

   Scuba Equipment 

   Bikini guide

   Water Sport Guide

powered by FreeFind

    Link Exchange