Angels Reef Foundation


The idea to make an artificial reef in forty to fifty feet of water off the shore of Deerfield came to us in 1999. We had this great idea to make an artificial reef with angels to watch over the reef system and the divers on it. Over time, they would look great for photography and contrast the beautiful reef system we have here in Deerfield Beach. Similar in idea to the Christ of the Abyss in Key Largo our thought was to help gather area divers to accomplish one goal, one project that would foster community pride and friendship. The idea of angels for the statues is not meant to be a symbol of religion but rather of protection and guardianship for the reef and divers on the reef.

Finding the right size statue was not as easy as we thought. But with a little patience, time seems to always work these things out and in December of 2001 we found the perfect statues for the project. Special thanks goes to Capt. Rob Mc Brayer and Dive master Brian for transporting them to the dive shop, and thanks to Dixie Divers for purchasing the statues.

With the angels in back of the shop, the next phase of the project could begin. Brainstorming on what the structure should look like took time but we finally decided on a three tier base design that the angels would sit on top of. The first base measures 4’ by 4’ 6’’ by 5’’ and weights approximately 1300 pounds. On top of that will be the second base measuring 3’ 6’’ by 3’ by 5’’ and weighing 700 pounds. The third base that attaches to the angel measures 2’ 6’’ by 2’ by 5’’ with a stainless steel bolt that will go through the bottom of the angel and bolt it down. This final base weights approximately 200 pounds. The weight of the bases was calculated by determining the square footage of the base and times that by the weight of a square foot of concrete, which is 150 pounds.

This design should make the structure almost six feet high. Special thanks to Paulino for his carpantry skills in designing the Bases and building the forms. Making the bases behind the shop With the help of our volunteers, Tony Esturilho, Mauricio Santana Robert Byrd and Nick Giampaolo the concrete was poured and the Bases made. Volunteers for the community did all the work There help was invaluable and we could not have done this with Out them, thanks guys.

We had an idea for a plaque to be put on the angels. After November 2001 it seemed fitting that the first angels plaque be dedicated to James “Spencer” Hyde a friend of Dixie Divers who went on many spear fishing trips with us. Unfortunately, Spencer had an accident in November and is no longer with us. We will miss him. The second angel is dedicated to the friendship of all the divers of Deerfield Beach. The plaque reads “Make friends with angels who though invisible are always with you” a statement from the Saint Francisco Arsis an 18th century monk. This is our scuba angel with a full set of gear, he is ready to help if we need him. Both angels are approximately 5ft tall and 2ft by 2ft round, weighting almost 900 pounds.

As time went on we found difficulty getting permission to sink the structures. After talking to Ken Banks, the head of Broward County’s artificial reef program, and sending letters detailing are intentions he gave permission to sink them within the designated artificial reef zone. Special thanks goes to him and his staff for their attention to this project.

  DEERFIELD TIMES Published an Article About Angels by  SHIRLEY GREEN

Transporting 1300 pounds of concrete to the site proved harder than we thought. Commercial barges could not transport them because of insurance concerns. Volunteer boats from the community of divers in this area though willing, could not handle the weight. Special thanks go to Dr. Ray Macalister for setting us up with Darrel who had a boat the right size and he had a crane to move the structures. But after testing to see if his boat could handle the load we could not use him. The weight was just too much.

All was not lost however, Pavan rallied the troops and a new plan emerged. If we cannot lift them we will drag them. Pavan’s new idea was to use lift bags to tow them out, needing a much smaller boat and then sink them with the assistance of volunteer divers. Professional lift bags would be needed so Pavan stepped up and made it happen by getting two 1000 pound pillows from Sub salve also two 500 pound pillows. These in conjunction with two 500-pound bell lift bags also from Sub salve would provide enough lift to safely tow then drop the structures.

The time had finally come to sink the first sections. Special thanks to Pavan and Keith Higdon for helping find a suitable location for the angels without their help we might not have found these perfect spots for the angels. The GPS marks for the angels will be (N26 .18 777) (W 080 03 982) and (N26 .18 889) (W 080 03 982). With an x to mark the spot Pavan, Helio Rabelo and the crew of the LADY GO DIVER sank the 2’by 2” section of the base using the new lift bags. Moving the larger bases proved more involved. With the help of our volunteers Capt. Rob Mcbrayer, Dive master Brian, Eugene Manatan, Gesson, Manny Carriera, and Nick Giampaolo we pushed pulled and dragged the large sections onto a trailer to take down to Pioneer Park. Special thanks goes to Mr. Hugh Andirson and his friend Domingos Souza of Lambada Dive Team for towing the sections behind Mr. Andirsons’ boat to the site. It took almost an hour to slowly drag the heavy sections out to the spot. After fighting a stiff current a few times we managed to drop them right on the money. Mission accomplished, for now.

Second Set of Bases

Transporting the bases was phase three of the project. With the help of Pete Kurdziel’s boat, Pavan and Robert Byrd with Domingos Souza Prepared and set the second set of bases for the Scuba angel. This was done by floating the bases out to the site and sinking them with lift bags. All went well and now just needs the pieces the be assembled and the angel placed on top.

Scuba Angel

The idea for a scuba angel came after a long breezy winter when the chances to get out and dive are limited by Mother Nature. As business slowed down Pavan had an idea to put a scuba tank on the second angel in our artificial reef project. With the help of Nick Giampaolo and Helio Rabelo a scuba tank that had failed visual was fastened to the angel with some Brazilian Ingenuity and filled with concrete over several days. After some debate a double hose regulator design was chosen to finish the effect. This was made from an old US Divers Royal double hose regulator and J-Valve. The hoses have stainless steel wires throughout them that even go

     The following  weeks we sink the rest of the bases and the angels getting ready for the 21st of April we will have the ceremony to place the angels in the final spot. If you would like to participate please come by the shop or call us, a great group of people have shown themselves through this project and we want more people to join fun!!!  

On April 24th we went to set the bases and place the angel dedicated to Spencer (our friend no longer with us) on the lady go diver with the help of the crew and 16 volunteers, the days task was a success. The whole activity was well organized by Pavan who gave everyone assignments to complete. Piece by piece the bases were fastened together with concrete and stainless steel bars while others prepared the angel to be put in place. After putting the angel in place, it was a perfect fit and as the silt settled slowly, reveling the whole structure it was an awe-inspiring moment. Special thanks go to Capt. Rob And Brian the crew of Lady Go Diver for their help with tending the boat and divers. Special thanks also goes to the volunteers who helped make this possible by moving all the concrete and place the angel. Arilton Pavan, Domingos souza, Lone souza ,Tony Esturilho, Mauricio Santana, Jim Guld, Robert Byrd, Jerry Huber, David Andrew, Dan Quilty, Richard Salvato, Bob Domesky, Rick Steffan, Wayne Shapiro, Dick Trodick, Ken Crawford,

Below an e-mail send by one of volunteer that help place the first Angel.

Wednesday morning 4/24/02
 Aboard the Lady Go Diver.  Taking an angel to the reef as a memorial to James “Spencer” Hyde.
Getting the angel off the boat was not easy.  Come to think of it, getting it on the boat was no picnic, either.
Dick and Ken prepared the underwater site.  Rick helped move the huge concrete slab bases with lift bags. Wayne and I hauled concrete from the boat to the bottom in five gallon buckets.  Divers from Dixie Divers mixed the mud, poured the mix and set the pieces together. 
It really looked cool, as the silt settled and the angel appeared out of the cloud. 
The whole operation was well organized by Dixie Divers' Pavan.  Thanks to Capt. Rob McBrayer and Divemaster Brian of Lady Go Diver for their generous support and humor. 
I'm glad I was part of it.  Kayuba participates in all kinds of community projects.  That is what sets us apart from many other dive clubs.  Get involved.  It feels good.
Jim Guld

The Sinking of the Scuba Angel

The date was May 1st 2002 Pavan had organized with the Lady Go Diver to take some volunteers out to Angels Reef to finish the first angel and place the scuba angel on it’s final resting place. Everyone showed at the boat early ready for the day’s mission. Pavan wasted no time organizing everyone into teams with specific tasks. Manny Carreira shot digital video making a fantastic film of the days activities. Eugene Manantan shot digital pictures to put on the web, while Pavan and Jerry Huber along with, Pete Schrijn, Lone Souza, Ricardo Goncalves, Domingos Souza, Dick Trodick, Rick Steffen, Solon Ayres, Jim Guld, Wayne Shapiro and Gesson Lima were taking turns transporting buckets of quick drying cement from the boat to the site. Thanks go to Tony Esturilho and Mauricio Santana for their expertise in construction, while we were having fun putting everything together they were up top mixing the concrete and preparing it for transport down to the site. While this was happening Pavan had sent Nick Giampaolo with Nina Mattos and Bob Dimesky as a second team to finish filling the edges of the fist angel with a faster and harder drying cement to complete the securing of that angel. When they were finished they made it back in time to watch as the first team finished putting the bases together with pins and layers of concrete. With the bases together and a change of tanks an attempt was made to put the head of the angel back on by lashing it to the side of the transom but it proved to heavy and it was decided it would be easier to do underwater at a later date. With everyone’s help the angel was lowered down and with a 1000lb lift bag and transported to the bases with a little muscle it dropped in place perfectly and when we swam back to look at it was magnificent. Manny's video is at the shop for everyone to see it came out great!!!

On Wednesday the 15 2002 Pavan and Mauricio Santana with Tony Esturilho mixing the special materials to put the head back on went to the site on Lady Go Diver and with a special air drill replaced the head. The angel looks new again and we are preparing for the dedication ceremony were on the international dive in day May 19th 2002.

DEERFIELD TIMES Published an Article About Angels by  SHIRLEY GREEN

Scuba News published an article about Angels of Deerfield Beach by Gregory Leute.

Angels in America a documentary.