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Posted by on May 5, 2015 in Events, In the News

Tilden’s Spines and Spiny Tournament

Tilden’s Spines and Spiny Tournament

Lionfish are GREAT to eat and they are bad for our fragile ecosystem!

Tilden’s Scuba Center is teaming up with Sanctuary Friends Foundation and donating 50% of all entry fees and 100% of all raffle collections directly to the foundation. Sanctuary Friends is responsible for everything from maintaining the buoys in the sanctuaries to coral restoration and scientific research both in shallow and deep waters that that we dive in.

Whether you are avid bug collectors or you just want to help out a great cause, you should participate. All participants receive a cool hat ($20+ value) and an entry in our raffle. We will have so many categories to win and raffles to give away, it would be hard to walk away empty handed!

4650 Overseas Hwy Marathon, FL 33050 305-743-7255

$30 to enter, including a tournament hat and raffle entry. All participants are entered into weigh-in party raffle. Categories for Men/Women/ Kiddos. Over $7000 in prizes to win and give away.

Last tournament entry taken at Tilden’s at 9am on July 29.

Final Weigh-in at Tilden’s 6 p.m. July 30.


Click here for the Spines and Spiny Tournament information.

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Posted by on Oct 14, 2014 in Events, In the News

Columbus Day Weekend Lionfish Tournament

Columbus Day Weekend Lionfish Tournament

Lionfish Tournament Results & Recap

Sanctuary Friends Foundation hosted its Third Annual Lionfish Tournament over Columbus Day Weekend with great success. The eight teams (five of which brought in fish) caught 369 lionfish off Florida Keys reefs and wrecks even with the windy conditions on the water!

The BIGGEST lionfish caught was 18½ inches! The Smallest was 3½ inches. Team Chase ‘N’ Tail brought in 172 lionfish to take home the top team prize over the two-day tournament.
Following the weigh-in at Captain Hook’s Marina & Dive Center on Sunday, John Mirabella of Castaway Waterfront Restaurant went above and beyond for the lionfish dinner. Not only did the contestants and guests get to try fried lionfish and his National Geographic recipe “Wreck Diver Lionfish,” John also brought out “King of the Jungle” lionfish sushi rolls and another new roll containing tempura lionfish.
The event raised more than $1,500 from raffles at the tasting. The raffle items were generously donated from attractions and dive shops from Tavernier to Key West.
View pictures from the weekend on Sanctuary Friends Facebook page or on the website.

(Photos by Jerry Cowan and Kristen Livengood)

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Posted by on Feb 12, 2014 in In the News

Capt. Larry Battaglia Memorial Fund

Capt. Larry Battaglia Memorial Fund

A Sanctuary Friends Foundation of the Florida Keys Memorial Fund has been set up in the memory of Marathon Captain Lawrence ‘Larry’ Battaglia.  Larry was the primary captain for the last ten years for A Deep Blue Dive Center in Key Colony Beach. He was always extremely active in the Marathon dive community, working and sharing his knowledge of boats and the water with all who sought his advice. He had been a PADI Instructor for 36 years and A USCG 100 ton Master Captain for 34 years. After going through cancer treatment for the past 5 months, he decided to spend his last days on the water it his beautiful home – the Florida Keys. Relying daily on NOAA’s National Weather Station at Sombrero Light House, his Memorial Fund will be used to restore and maintain that weather station.

To make a donation, please click here and in the memo write In Memory of Larry. Sanctuary Friends continues to let the legacy of people who love the water in the Florida Keys live on.

In loving memory of Larry Battaglia.

You will forever be a wise and legendary captain and instructor who taught us things we will never forget.

You put the meaning to the word mentor, a father figure to all. You taught us many of life lessons particularly how to live life well.

You will be remembered continuously in everyone’s hearts and lives. We all will honor you forever and miss you dearly.


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