"May 15 is the scheduled sink date of a retired U.S. Air Force missile tracking ship, which will be transformed into an artificial reef off Key West, Florida, organizers say. 'This is a major event for us , a great opportunity for health of the reef as well as a economic shot in the arm for the Keys.' said Chris Norwood, president of the Artificial Reefs of the Keys. 'Tens of thousands of people have been waiting to hear this date.' The General Hoyt S. Vandenberg has been docked in Norfolk, Virginia, shipyard where workers are removing environmental hazards, prior to it's scuttling in the FloridaKeys National Marine Sanctuary. Officials with Reefmakers, the project's facilitator, are planning to coordinate towing of the 522-foot-long (158-m) vessel th the Key West sometime in March for the final preparations. The Vandenberg project should provides additional marine habitat and provide a new attraction for the recreational divers, to relieve pressure on the natural coral reefs. 'Not only do artificial reefs divert divert recreational user pressure from the natural reefs, they also create a valuable habitat and new breeding grounds for the marine environment.' said Joe Wetherby of Reefmakers. ' The Vandenberg will provide tools and resources to create sustained education, social revenues for the community.' Before it was decommissioned in the 1983, the Vandenberg also tracked manned U.S. space missions, beginning with Mercury blastoffs in the early 1960s The ship 'played' a role as a Russian science ship in 'Virus' a 1999 motion picture starring Jamie Lee Curtis. Funding for the project is coming from several local government and private-sector resources including the City of Key West and the Monroe County Tourist Development Council. For more information, visit www.bigshipwrecks.com/ ." Article written by Gene Gentrup for 'Dive Training' magazine
Am I the only person that thinks this is stupid. If you were in the exact spot where they are going to sink this ship and you dropped a coke can hugely fined. But they are going to sink a ship on purpose and see it as good for the environment. I am by no means an environmentalists. But I find what they are doing hypocritical. I don't know if the government donated the ship or if the organizers bought it. If the government donated it I will rant again. But don't get me started on that.
Saturday I took my dive test and the instructor said that the government is trying to ban diving off the Keys and the coast of Florida. Do you want to know why? Because the divers are urinating in the water and hurting the sea life. Do you know how many swimmers and snorkelers there are off the coast each year? I don't know but I know the number is higher than the numbers of divers. Plus NO one wants to urinate in their wet suit you have to wash it out. YUCK.