C-53 Xicoténcatl

Also known as AM-298, C53 Wreck, Felipe Xicoténcatl, USS Scuffle, Xicoténcatl

Sea (Salt water)
Wreck, Coral Reef, Artificial Reef
16.7 m (avg)
25 m (max)
Diver Level
Advanced Only

USS Scuffle (AM-298) was an Admirable-class minesweeper built for the U.S. Navy. For service during World War II she was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation and five battle stars. The 56m/184ft gunboat was decommissioned in June 1946. In October 1962, she was sold to the Mexican government and later renamed as the Felipe Xicoténcatl (C-53). She served as a patrol boat in the Caribbean for the next few decades before finally being donated by the Secretary of the Navy of Mexico to be sunk on 5 June 2000 as an artificial reef. The vessel was carefully prepared prior to sinking. Large holes were cut into the sides, allowing light to enter and providing safer access for divers.

The top of the mast is only about 8m/25ft below the surface, with the bottom of the propellers at 25m/75ft. The dive plan usually includes 45 minutes of bottom time, and your average depth will be around 17-20m/50-60ft as you explore from the bridge (15m/45m) to the engine room (22m/65ft). A bouy line is available to control descent and ascent, if required. Signs have been installed throughout the wreck to indicate the nearest exit.

Groups are generally limited to four divers with a dive master.

The wreck provides shelter for a variety of species including lobsters, glassy sweepers, grunts and groupers.

More information about the vessel is available on Wikipedia.

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