Florida State Parks 75th Anniversary Logo
Replica cannon are placed at the wreck site, in place of the originals. The replacement anchor at the San Pedro site is an 18th century piece contemporary to the anchor the ship actually carried. Divers and snorkelers can take advantage of the underwater guide to San Pedro. Page one explores how the site has changed over time. Page two of the underwater guide discusses the value of San Pedro as a natural and cultural resource.
San Pedro Underwater Archaeological Preserve State Park
This San Pedro logo, designed for a T-shirt, features a drawing of the San Pedro.

History and Culture

This underwater archaeological preserve features a submerged shipwreck that is available for diving and snorkeling. Part of a Spanish flotilla, the San Pedro was a 287-ton, Dutch-built ship which sank in a hurricane on July 13, 1733. Her remains were discovered in 1960 in Hawk Channel near Indian Key. After major salvage efforts in the 1960s, all that remains of San Pedro is a large pile of ballast stones covering an area 90 feet long and 30 feet wide. The underwater site has been enhanced with seven replica cannons, an anchor, and an information plaque.

This map shows some of the shipwrecks along the Florida Keys.

Florida Shipwrecks

The map is part of a chart showing the shipwrecks on the Florida Keys. In July of 1733, most of the ships belonging to the New Spain Fleet were lost to a hurricane just one day after leaving Havana, Cuba for Spain. The wreck of one of those ships, the San Pedro, lies just off Lower Matecumbe and Indian Keys.

The Site plan of the San Pedro wreck shows the placement of the canons, anchor, ballast stones and plaque.

San Pedro Site Plan

This is a site plan of the wreck of the San Pedro. As a result of salvaging both at the time of the wreck and after its rediscovery in the 1960s, little is left of the actual vessel. Replica cannon, a contemporary anchor and a plaque have been placed at the site to help interpret the wreck for visitors.

Ballast stones more than 200 years old mark the spot where the San Pedro sank.

Ballast Stones

Ballast stones are all that remain of the actual San Pedro. ballast stones, once taken from Old World river beds, were placed in the bottoms of ships to help them balance. Today, these stones and the other items at the wreck site form an artificial reef, supporting life for many different sea creatures.

Two original brochure covers for San Pedro Archaeological Preserve State Park feature drawings of the ship and its remains.

Original Brochures

These original brochure covers for San Pedro Archaeological Preserve State Park feature drawings of the wreck site and the ship as it might have looked weathering on stormy seas.

A staghorn coral and fish thrive.

Staghorn Coral

Today, the San Pedro is a healthy reef supporting hundreds of species of fish, corals and undersea life. (Photo by Dave Gilliam, PhD)