New dive site in Panama City Beach.

By Rusty Miller

Hello, Wakulla:
I wanted to let you know there is a brand new dive site off of Panama City Beach. It is called the “Deep Stim.” She is a 190-foot long research vessel and was sunken on Jan. 30, 2024.
The bottom depth is about 120 feet and based on sonar she looks to have settled more upright. It looks like the garage deck is about 100 feet deep and the top of the bridge is about 50 feet deep.
I’m not sure of the width of the beam on her but I would imagine she’s at least 30-45 feet.
I believe she’s about 36 miles offshore southwest of St. Andrews Pass, which would make sense because of the depth. I don’t know if you can penetrate any part of the wreck because very little has been published about her. If you go on one of the dive boat charters, then prepare for a full day and three-tank diving.
You have to have your advanced certification or higher to make those dives and have a dive computer to use. I would recommend using 32% nitrox or less. At 32% is safe if you use a nitrox dive computer. Standard air is suitable for that depth, but you will have a little less bottom time than on 32%.
Currently the water temperature is 69-70 degrees, so it’s a bit chilly even with a 5mm wetsuit. I would wait until around the middle of May when the water temperature gets close to 80 degrees and then you would be comfortable in a 3mm shorty wetsuit.
The only concern I would have is the visibility. Last summer the visibility was never really beyond 20-30 feet.
Normally it’s much better than that, but when you have good visibility it usually means pretty good surface current.
I plan on making that dive at least once or twice this summer. I will then be better informed so I can do a much more detailed article in the future.
Until then, keep making bubbles.

Russell Miller #59999