The LuLu is a 271-foot retired freighter, once known as Yokamu, with three deck levels. Sitting at 115 feet beneath the gulf waters and approximately 20 miles off the shores of Orange Beach, the LuLu was the first large ship to become part of the Alabama Gulf Coast Reef and Restoration Foundation (AGCRRF),
With the top of the ship at a 50-foot depth clearance, it sits at the perfect depth for beginners with their diving certification to explore. For the more advanced diver, the main deck level at the top of the cargo hold is at 95 feet with the sand bottom around 112-115 feet deep.
What Makes It Great
Sunk in 2013, The LuLu’s deployment became a community wide effort with Lucy Buffett and her partner Mac McAleer instrumental in funding the dive spot. The sinking ceremony was complete with its own coastal party, as that’s the way things are done here.
This dive spot is unique as it allows divers from novice to expert a challenging yet exciting exploration of the coastal waters.
“The LuLu is one of our major dive sites that is getting national attention,” says Captain Gary Emerson of Gary's Gulf Dive Charters
“The multi-level ship opens up for lots of wide open spaces as well as many hidden and tight crevices where sea life such as red snapper, trigger, and many species of bait fish tend to hide,” adds William Ervin of High Pressure Dive Shop.
The habitat created by the ship is rich in snapper, amberjack, tuna, grouper, and many other tropical fish. The LuLu and other artificial reefs along the Alabama Coast are more than tourist sites, they provide a first line of defense against shore erosion much like natural coral reefs in other parts of the world. They also serve as a valuable resources in the potential growth and development of marine life. Because of the pro activism of the Alabama Gulf Coast Reef and Restoration Foundation (AGCRRF), Gulf Shores and Orange Beach has one of the healthiest red snapper populations along the Gulf Coast.
Who is Going to Love It
Those who are going to love this site will have an appreciation for the ship’s perfect deployment in an upright position. This dive spot promises constant interaction with marine life. Whether you plan on underwater photography or just taking it all in, you’ll have plenty to view.
This dive allows the intermediate to the advanced diver a good deal of space to fully experience the gulf waters, multiple layers of the ship, and various types of sea life. There are other structures nearby to explore and several charters ready to take you. The location is under 20 miles from shore and getting to the spot can be done with ease.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
The LuLu can be found 17 miles offshore from Perdido Pass with coordinates of 29 degrees, 59.520 minutes and 87 degrees, 33.037 minutes in 110 feet of water.