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March 2007

Military ship to become next artificial reef

The General Hoyt S. Vandenberg will become an artificial reef off Key West, Florida.

Maritime Administrator Sean T. Connaughton approved the transfer of the ship to the state of Florida, which plans to turn the 63-year old vessel into an artificial reef later this year. “Reefing is an excellent way to dispose of our obsolete ships,” said Connaughton. "It is good for the economy, good for the environment, and a great deal for United States taxpayers.”

The approval clears the way for the ship to be cleaned and sunk for a reef. The Vandenberg will join other ships of the Maritime Administration’s National Defense Reserve Fleet being used in the Maritime Administration's Artificial Reefing Program: the Texas Clipper I, soon to be sunk on the Texas Gulf Coast, and the Spiegel Grove, sunk off Florida in 2002.

The Vandenberg will be towed to Colonna’s Shipyard in Norfolk, Virginia where it will have all hazardous materials removed from it in preparation for reefing prior to its departure for sinking. The Maritime Administration is contributing $1.25 million toward the cost of preparing the ship for reefing.


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