Marine Link
Saturday, September 24, 2016

Ghost Fleet Ship to Become Artificial Reef

February 13, 2007

It has been a troop carrier, a missile-tracking ship, and a starred in a Hollywood movie. Now the General Hoyt S. Vandenberg will become an artificial reef off Key West, Fla. Maritime Administrator Sean T. Connaughton approved the transfer of the Vandenberg to the state of Florida, which plans to turn the 63-year old vessel into an artificial reef later this year. “Reefing is an excellent way to dispose of our obsolete ships,” said Connaughton. "It is good for the economy, good for the environment, and a great deal for U.S. taxpayers.”

The approval clears the way for the ship to be cleaned and sunk for a reef. The Vandenberg will join other ships of the Maritime Administration’s National Defense Reserve Fleet being used in the Maritime Administration's Artificial Reefing Program: the Texas Clipper I, soon to be sunk on the Texas Gulf Coast, and the Spiegel Grove, sunk off Florida in 2002. The Vandenberg is currently at the James River Reserve Fleet site. Within the next few weeks, it will be towed from the site to Colonna’s Shipyard in Norfolk, Va., where it will have all hazardous materials removed from it in preparation for reefing prior to its departure for sinking. The Maritime Administration is contributing $1.25m toward the cost of preparing the ship for reefing.

The Vandenberg was constructed in 1943, as the troop ship General Harry S. Taylor. In 1963, it was refitted as a missile-tracking ship and given its unusual superstructure and present name. In 2000, the ship was featured in the Hollywood film Virus, and still carries the Russian lettering and ornate paint scheme given to it for that role. The Maritime Administration maintains the National Defense Reserve Fleet as a reserve of ships for defense and national emergencies. The James River Reserve Fleet at Fort Eustis, Va., is one of three sites where ships are maintained. When ships are no longer considered useful for defense or aid missions, the Maritime Administration arranges for their responsible disposal.



Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Sep 2016 - Maritime & Ship Security

Maritime Reporter and Engineering News’ first edition was published in New York City in 1883 and became our flagship publication in 1939. It is the world’s largest audited circulation magazine serving the global maritime industry, delivering more insightful editorial and news to more industry decision makers than any other source.

Subscribe
Maritime Reporter E-News subscription

Maritime Reporter E-News is the subsea industry's largest circulation and most authoritative ENews Service, delivered to your Email three times per week

Subscribe for Maritime Reporter E-News