Ship to be sunk as artificial reef will honor lost Palm Beach County mariners

(El Nuevo Herald)
(El Nuevo Herald)

When the Ana Cecilia sinks to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean next month to become an artificial reef, it also will honor three families whose loved ones were victims of the sea.

Separate plaques affixed to the 170-foot, 629-ton freighter will honor 14-year-olds Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen, lost at sea after their 19-foot boat left the Jupiter Inlet on July 24, 2015.

A third plaque will feature Palm Beach County Sheriff’s corrections officer Fernandas Jones, his 70-year-old stepfather, Willis Bell, and Jones’ 9-year-old son Jayden. The three drowned when their boat capsized off Martin County on April 10. A cousin, Robert Stewart, survived.

Palm Beach County Commissioners and families of the lost mariners will gather next Monday at the Manatee Lagoon, at the Florida Power & Light Co. plant in Riviera Beach, for a dedication ceremony, the county said.

The county’s Department of Environmental Resources Management has set July 6 to drop the Ana Cecilia 75 to 90 feet down off the Port of Palm Beach, making it one of the county’s 150 artificial reefs.



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