The Thunderbolt Wreck is located about 5 miles Southeast offshore from Marathon. In the 1980's researchers from the Florida utility company used 2 jet engines to blast ionized gas into the upper atmosphere to attract large number of lighting strikes on this 200 foot research vessel. That's how she got her name - "Thunderbolt". She was to start her new career as an underwater surveyor vessel but sank in the Miami Harbor. Members of the Middle Keys diving community bought her in 1986 and prepped her as an artificial reef.
The Thunderbolt lies upright in 115 feet of water. The current here is often fierce, making this dive for advanced or technical divers only. There are entry points around the wreck for divers certified in wreck diving.
This dive is very exciting for the experienced diver. The wreck is heavily encrusted with a variety of sponges and corals and there are always lots of tropical fish and barracuda around.