The sinking of the Ana Cecelia, to become an artificial reef and a monument to five lost mariners, has been delayed by at least a week.
The county’s Department of Environmental Resources Management had set July 6 to drop the ship 75 to 90 feet down off the Port of Palm Beach, making it one of the county’s 150 artificial reefs, and the southernmost in a line of 11.
But ERM Director Rob Robbins said Tuesday that delays emerged in the work to punch holes in the ship, in preparation for sinking, and to remove all hazardous materials and schedule a final inspection by the U.S. Coast Guard.
He said a tentative date has been set for July 13.
When the freighter sinks, separate plaques on it 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. A third plaque will feature Palm Beach County sheriff’s corrections officer Fernandez Jones, his 70-year-old stepfather, Willis Bell, and Jones’ 9-year-old son, Jaden. The three drowned when their boat capsized off Martin County on April 10. A cousin, Robert Stewart, survived.