Palm Beach County OKs $1mm toward making Cold War-era sub a reef

(USS Clamagore Preservation & Memorial Assn)
(USS Clamagore Preservation & Memorial Assn)

The Cold War-era submarineUSS Clamagore is one step closer to a final resting place off Juno Beach as Florida’s only submarine artificial reef.

Palm Beach County Commissioners voted 7-0 at Tuesday’s meeting to pay a Miami firm $1 million to coordinate the sinking off the “Gray Ghost of the Florida Coast” in about 90 feet about 1½ miles off the Juno Beach Pier.

It would be the newest addition to the county’s renowned 150-plus piece artificial reef program.

The money will come from a trust fund fed by vessel registration fees. The state kicks back about $500,000 a year to the county’s Department of Environmental Management.

To read more, go later to mypalmbeachpost.com.

The Clamagore: A photo gallery www.mypalmbeachpost.com/clamagore

 

Cold War sub would sink off Jupiter, become Florida’s first sub artificial reef

(USS Clamagore Preservation & Memorial Assn)
(USS Clamagore Preservation & Memorial Assn)

For decades, a 320-foot Cold War-era submarine has been a floating tourist attraction in downtown Charleston S.C. Now a group hopes to sink it off Jupiter, perhaps as early as this summer, as part of Palm Beach County’s renowned 150-plus piece artificial reef program and as an “underwater museum.” Organizers said it would be the first sub ever turned into a reef in Florida.

Palm Beach County plans to sink the USS Clamagore, the “Gray Ghost of the Florida Coast,” in about 100 feet, according to a memo for Tuesday’s county commission meeting.

County Commissioners would vote to approve paying a Miami firm $1 million. The money will come from a vessel registration fee trust fund.

The diesel-powered Clamagore, built in 1945, just after the end of World War II, ran up and down the Atlantic coast from Key West to Charleston and trained sailors to track Soviet nuclear subs. It was retired in 1975 and since 1981 has been docked since at the Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum in Charleston.

According to the memo for Tuesday’s commission meeting, while the sub has been a popular draw, it has “structural fatigue” so extensive it’s not practical to repair it enough for tourists to safely tour it. Several groups had suggested new homes for the sub but couldn’t come up with the money.

The museum decided the sub deserved a better fate than a scrapyard and signed a deal last spring with Artificial Reefs International-Clamagore, a subsidiary of Miami-based CRB Geological and Environmental Services, to find a home for it somewhere in the ocean, ARI principal Joe Weatherby said Tuesday.

To read more, go later to mypalmbeachpost.com.

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.