U.S.S. Vandenberg goes down off Florida, becomes artificial reef
So long U.S.S. Vandenberg, hello artificial reef.
The soundless video attached to this blog is one of many being circulated in the aftermath of today's sinking of the 523-foot Vandenberg seven miles off Key West, Fla., within Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
The retired World War II-era U.S. Air Force missile tracking ship, which is resting at 140 feet on a mostly sandy bottom, will become a haven for marine life, boost scuba-diving opportunities and hopefully boost tourism in the Keys region.
At least one scuba-diving operation, Bonsai Diving, already is booking trips to explore the scuttled ship. Much of the massive vessel's structure will be accessible to divers 40-50 feet beneath the surface. The long-planned project cost $8.6 million.
The video is courtesy of the Monroe County Tourist Development Council. Outposts will try to locate underwater photos of the vessel on Thursday.
-- Pete Thomas