Vandenberg Sunk in Keys

Ship becomes artificial reef in Keys

A ship last used by the U.S. Air Force to track missiles and spacecraft has been sunk in the Florida Keys, creating a new artificial reef for sport divers and anglers.

The Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg sank in less than two minutes on Wednesday morning, after demolition experts triggered a series of explosives that lined both sides of the ship.

Key West City Manager Jim Scholl says he believes the 17,000-ton, 523-foot-long ship settled on the bottom of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary in an upright position, but he was waiting for confirmation from divers.

The ship was first built as a cargo ship in World War II. Officials in the Florida Keys expect it to generate up to $8 million in tourism-related revenue, mostly from divers and related businesses.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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