Mermaid Statue Creates New Offshore Reef Only Half a Mile from 5000 Ocean

POSTED ON August 23, 2016 - 5000 North Ocean

SINGER ISLAND – Few places in the world can impress with the abundance of fish life, vibrant and colorful reefs, and out-of-this-world encounters. If you love to dive in Florida, there are several reefs near Singer Island in the Palm Beaches that you have to check out. Located within a mile offshore from 5000 North Ocean and Ocean Reef Park on Singer Island, you’ll discover a couple of very diverse diving experiences. Further to the north, the Singer Island coastline is dotted with shallow reefs inviting exploration from the pristine beaches.

Closer to the shoreline, the snorkeling reef at Ocean Reef Park is small and a very popular destination for visitors to the Palm Beaches. Beach-goers can see the reef protruding from the ocean. Ocean Reef Park is a shallow beach dive which is protected by lifeguards. It’s great for beginners and non-Florida natives. It’s full of people of all ages, swimming around and walking on the reef.

The Riviera Reef, located in deeper water, is adjacent to the area’s newest artificial reef “Andrea’s Reef” — the home of a 60,000-pound mermaid statue deployed in August to celebrate breast cancer survivors.

Thomas McDonald, a local artist created the concrete mermaid in a collaboration with Susan G. Komen of South Florida and the Riviera Beach Maritime Academy. The mermaid was deployed in 75 feet of water, and was created in the likeness of Andrea Torrente, a native of Jamaica who was on hand to celebrate the occasion. It was Torrente’s first time on a boat as she watched the concrete mermaid, sculpted in her likeness and celebrating her triumphs, being lowered into the ocean to become an artificial reef. McDonald chose to memorialize a breast cancer survivor because both his mother and mother-in-law had the disease. He plans to do more work in cancer-treatment advocacy.

Andrea’s Reef is now resting on the ocean floor, 1-mile north of the Palm Beach Inlet and 3/4 miles east at sea. With it brings hope for new life and hope to other survivors while showing great importance to the marine ecosystem and environment.

In an article in the Palm Beach Post, McDonald commented “It’s my goal for my grandkids to never hear the word ‘chemotherapy.'” Through connections with Palm Beach County’s Department of Environmental Resources Management, McDonald contacted representatives from the local Komen affiliate, which selected Torrente. Students from the Riviera Beach Maritime Academy also helped build “Andrea’s Reef,” a 60,000-pound structure that includes the life-size mermaid, sea turtles, sting rays and roman columns. The face of the mermaid was created from a mold of Torrente’s face, and includes one tear drop in recognition of Torrente’s daughter, McDonald said.

5000 North Ocean is a newly released 19-story residential condominium encompassing 340+ ft. of direct oceanfront and has recently opened an oceanfront Sales Gallery to showcase the building’s tropical modern architectural design. Four very unique floorplans are being offered, priced from $2 million. Interested homebuyers can call 844.5000.YES to speak with a sales representative or to schedule an appointment.

Mermaid Reef Photos Courtesy of Palm Beach Daily News