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Panamanian Vessel Sunk To Create Artificial Reef

In late September, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) reported that it supervised the sinking of Panamanian motor vessel Antares 20 miles south of Pensacola, Fla. Approximately $516,000 was spent from federal funds to prepare the vessel for the sinking, a task given to the Navy's Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit Six Detachment from Panama City, which detonated explosives to cause the sinking.

In December 1993, Antares was discovered sinking approximately 10 miles south of the Mobile, Ala., sea buoy. Flooding was brought under control and the ship was allowed to enter port. As part of the Coast Guard Port State Control Program, USCG Marine Safety inspectors boarded Antares and deemed the ship an environmental hazard.

Antares was detained until cleanup costs were paid and repairs were completed to make the vessel safe for voyage. In March 1994, the ship was abandoned and cleanup costs were not paid by its owners. In November 1994, the USCG prepared a contract to have the vessel sunk as a reef as part of the State of Florida Artificial Reef Project.

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