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New Florida Reef May 15 Key West-Sounds like a good trip to me!

Discussion in 'Atlanta Reef Dwellers' started by wan2dive, Jan 29, 2008.

  1. wan2dive

    wan2dive Angel Fish

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    Sounds like a Dive Trip to ME!
    DNS
    Officials set May sink date for ship planned as artificial reef</SPAN>
    KEY WEST, Fla. -
    Officials overseeing the transformation of a retired U.S. Air Force missile tracking ship into an artificial reef off Key West said Saturday they are planning to sink the ship May 15.
    The General Hoyt S. Vandenberg is currently at a Norfolk, Va., shipyard where workers are preparing it for sinking by removing environmental hazards. Plans are to scuttle the ship in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
    Officials with Reefmakers, the organization overseeing the project, are planning to tow the 522-foot-long vessel to Key West sometime in March for final preparations.
    Supporters say the Vandenberg project will provide additional marine habitat and a new attraction for recreational divers.
    Before it was decommissioned in 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.
    The club will be putting together a trip. if you are intrested please let me know. wan2dive

     
  2. Bratface

    Bratface Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: South Florida
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    Yes, I'm planning on taking the day off from work to watch it go down.
     
  3. Lone Frogman

    Lone Frogman Amphibious ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: West Georgia
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    Welcome to ScubaBoard, glad to see some more divers in the Atlanta area on the Board. The other group the Loonies don't appear to do much anymore. Your trip to Key West sounds interesting. Please post more as information comes in. Maybe it will work in with my fall trip to the Keys.
     
  4. jimdiverman

    jimdiverman Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: United States
    780
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    How far offshore are they planning on sinking her? Do you need to be in a boat to see it go down, or can you watch it from shore?
     
  5. Bratface

    Bratface Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: South Florida
    1,829
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    This week's paper stated that the Vandenberg will be brought to Key West sometime in March where it will be docked near Ft. Zack. During "Sink Week" lots of celebrations are planned. It will be sunk about 5 miles from shore, so you will need a boat to reach it. I am sure all the dive charters will be making trips to visit the wreck.
     
  6. polarguard

    polarguard Angel Fish

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    :confused::confused:


    Mar 22, 2008 (Florida Keys Keynoter - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- NO MATCHES FOUND. | news | PowerRating | PR Charts -- Key West City Commissioner Bill Verge wants the City Commission to set a deadline of April 1 to garner $2.3 million still needed to sink the USS Hoyt S. Vandenberg as an artificial reef seven miles off Key West.
    The city holds the title to the vessel, and if the deadline is not met, "the city will turn the title over to the lending institutions and the ship will be sold for scrap," Verge wrote in a letter to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Chairman Rodney Barreto.
    Verge said he'll ask his fellow commissioners to approve the deadline when they meet April 1, the deadline he wants.
    He said he's looking to the state for the money, specifically the Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development. It's the last resort "unless some sugar daddy steps up and pays the rest."
    "The state hasn't put one dime into this yet," Verge told the Keynoter. "And yet they're the main beneficiary on this."
    According to Verge, the city's Tallahassee lobbyist firm, Gray/Robinson Attorneys at Law, is trying to make it happen.
    "We have talked to [the tourism office] about that, and we are waiting for a response," said Ed Scales, a local attorney with Gray/Robinson.
    According to Verge, the Vandenberg is only a piece of the state's new tourism plan.
    "The state would like to sink 10 more ships around Florida to keep the tourists here for a longer period of time," he said.
    The city deadline was set because of towing limitations.
    "Time is of the essence due to towing dates and hurricane season," Verge wrote. "The Coast Guard will not allow a tow after June 1," because hurricane season begins.
    On top of the city's financial worries, the Department of Environmental Protection introduced more mitigative requirements for the ship before it can be scuttled and made an artificial reef. Those include, according to Verge, dry-docking the ship twice to clean the hull before it's scuttled as an artificial reef.
    With a total cost of now more than $8 million, the project is being financed by the city of Key West, Monroe County, the county Tourist Development Council, U.S. Maritime Administration, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and local banks.
    The city, county and TDC have pledged the funds, but no transactions will occur until the 520-foot ship is on the ocean bottom.
    "Of course, the TDC has $1 million allocated to the ship, which cannot be released until the ship goes down as an artificial reef," TDC Director Harold Wheeler said.
    Asked if the TDC would consider contributing more, Wheeler said, "We feel as though the million we've invested in it is a good investment."
    Not only does the vessel need to sink, it needs to sink correctly.
    The 510-foot Spiegel Grove ran into complications in 2002 when it was sunk in 134 feet of water near Dixie Shoal off Key Largo. That vessel unintentionally rolled upside down. It's since been righted.
    "If these guys can't pull it off, they get no funds," Verge said.
    Reefmakers is contracted to scuttle the vessel for Artificial Reefs of the Florida Keys.
    Managers of the 10-year project say the 14,300-ton former military vessel will be towed from its shipyard in Norfolk, Va., where it's been cleaned out and prepared for scuttling.
    Joe Weatherby of Reefmakers announced a sinking date of May 15 in late January.
     
  7. jimdiverman

    jimdiverman Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: United States
    780
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    I hope people didn't make a lot of plans for May 15th, because this is sounding like they need to pull some more teeth to get another $2 million to make this happen, and if they can't get it, it will not happen at all. I hate politics.
     
  8. Gregordo

    Gregordo Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Stone Mountain Georgia
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    I just got back from Key Largo. The Dive shop said it won't be sunk until December, at the earliest.
     

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