Turning Navy Ship Into A Reef Takes Longer Than Expected | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Turning Navy Ship Into A Reef Takes Longer Than Expected

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Plans to turn a retired 560-foot Navy destroyer into an artificial reef in the Atlantic Ocean are taking longer than expected.

The destroyer will be dropped just 30 miles off the coast of Ocean City, Md., but it's sinking has been delayed.

The USS Arthur W. Radford is a 9,200-ton behemoth that's about ten times as long as it is wide.

The retired ship, which most famously served in the first Gulf War, is now being stripped to its shell at a naval shipyard in Philadelphia as Fish and Waterlife officials from Maryland, New Jersey and Delaware prepare to make it the longest artificial reef in the country.

Officials say they hoped to sink the vessel by Thanksgiving, but the lengthy checklist ranging from removing the doors to testing the paint for toxicity has pushed the drop date back until mid-April.

The Radford will be lowered at a location equidistant from Cape May, New Jersey, the Indian River Inlet in Delaware and Ocean City and will be known as the DelJerseyLand Reef.

Several six-by-six holes will be cut in the hull in order to sink the ship, once tasked to chase down submarines, to its final resting place 135 feet below the surface.

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