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Freighter smuggling drugs a new artificial reef! - video

Another vessel was sunk in Florida, the wreck of which will turn into an artificial farm. This time it was a sizable freighter that was sent to the bottom in St. Lucie County. The vessel, whose wreck will now be a huge attraction, also has an unusual history! For the ship was seized by U.S.
Published: June 26, 2019 - 12:51
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 18:20
Freighter smuggling drugs a new artificial reef! – video

Another vessel was sunk in Florida, the wreck of which will turn into an artificial farm. This time it was a sizable freighter that was sent to the bottom in St. Lucie County. The vessel, whose wreck will now be a huge attraction, also has an unusual history! For the ship was seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection in connection with drug smuggling.

Measuring 55 metres long and built in 1965, the freighter ‘Voici Bernadette’ was seized by US forces last year in connection with drug smuggling to Miami. Now the vessel has been given a chance at a new life and, as a fully rehabilitated artificial reef, will serve the local community as a tourist attraction as well as home to many species of underwater flora and fauna.

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Diving associations, economic development groups and coastal municipalities in Florida are advocating for artificial reef projects as a huge boost to underwater ecosystems and local economic development.

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Perfect examples of this are the former aircraft carrier USS Oriskany – the world’s largest artificial reef – and the landing ship USS Spiegel Grove, also located off the coast of Florida. At the moment, there are already 3,300 artificial reefs registered with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and more are added every year.

On Monday morning the suitably prepared “Voici Bernadette” was towed to the site of the sinking, about 10 Mm east of the St. Lucie nuclear power plant off the coast of Fort Pierce. Sailors and tourists were invited to observe the sinking process from a safe distance on boats.

For those who do not have their own boats, local boat owners offered this opportunity for $100. The event was hugely popular and from the information available we know that there were about 300 boats on the water!

Total project cost: USD 149 000

Source: maritime-executive.com

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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