Sinking naval vessels for artificial reefs creates new habitat and a tourist destination, while also ridding the Navy of outdated ships. But it also raises environmental questions.
June 10, 2002 With the help of air lift bags, air injection in ballast tanks and pull from two tugboats, the Spiegel Grove begins to to rotate in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The 510-foot retired Navy ship prematurely sank and flipped about six miles off Key Largo, Fla. The process to reorient and fully sink the ship was being facilitated to make the Spiegel Grove the largest ship in the world to be scuttled to create an artificial reef. Sean Morton, superintendent of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, said that the sunken ship has diverted tourists from neighboring natural reefs, easing human pressure on them. Andy Newman/AP Buy Photo