The Duane wreck lies on a flat sandy bottom about 1 mile south of Molasses Reef outside the Sanctuary boundary (Cohen and Cohen 1991:72). The site consists of the ship in its entirety, a 327-foot long Treasury Class U.S. Coast Guard Cutter. She is 41 feet abreast and her bow anchors are deployed at a 45 degree angle. She was sunk November 27, 1987 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as an artificial reef. Because she was sunk intentionally, she is found to be intact without an extensive debris field surrounding the wreck itself.
Situated in a large, flat area covered mostly by sand and occasional coral patches, the Duane lies outside the protection of coral reef formations and is subject to strong Gulf stream currents. The site can offer exceptionally clear water. Days with 200 foot visibility are reported, and the usual range is from 30 to 80 feet (Berg and Berg 1991:110).
The Duane's depth ranges from 65 feet at the crow's nest to 120 feet at the bottom of the hull. The navigating bridge (70 feet) contains a chart room, radar transmission area and the wheel chamber. The superstructure deck, where the Commanding Officer's cabin and various storerooms are found, lies at 90 feet. The main deck, at 100 feet, contains the crew's quarters, carpenter shop and ships office.