The Coast Guard doesn't want it. Nor does the General Services Administration wants part but not all of it.
So the Cuyahoga, the 51-year-old Coast Guard cutter which sank in the Chesapeake Bay Oct. 20 and was subsequently raised in a delicate and dramatic salvage operation, will be sunk again.
"You know the old joke about selling it for razor blades," one Coast Guard official said yesterday. "We think this a better solution. I'd call it a decent burial."
At the request of the Virginia Natural Resource Administration, the Cuyahoga will be towed 15 miles from the Virginia capes and ceremoniously sunk. The cutter, already stripped and painted over, will join several other shipwreck hulls as part of an offshore fishing reef.
Eleven crewmen died when the cutter collided with an Argentinean freighter near the mouth of the Potomac River in the most serious Coast Guard accident in a decade.
Coast Guard comptroller Adm. Richard Knepp said yesterday thd disposal plans will be presented to GSA next week in Portsmouth. The battered hull of the Cuyahoga lies in "wet storage" there, a gaping hole in it's starboard side patched by a steel plate.
"We do not want to keep the vessel," said Cmdr. Jack Goldthorpe yesterday. "It's a liability to us."
The Coast Guard said the Cuyahoga wasn't "worth repairing." Sinking it is "probably the cheapest way" to dispose of it, according to one official.
The Cuyahoga's mast has already been removed, as well as the ship's wheel, screws, anchor and "anything that was salvageable," a spokesman said.
Knepp said the Coast Guard is trying to decide whether to make the ship's mast into a memorial in honor of the crewmen who perished in the collision.
Knepp also said the sinking would be accompanied "by some sort of ceremony." No date has been set for the event, he said.
The Cuyahoga was described as a "floating classroom" and used as a training vessel for officer candidates from the service's Yorktown training base.