Video: USS Vandenberg Sunk off Key West to Create Artificial Reef


The USAFS Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg, a giant warship used by the military as a troop carrier during World War II and also to shuttle post-war refugees and Holocaust survivors to the U.S., but most recently to track missiles and spacecraft, was sunk off of Key West Wednesday, plunging below the surface in less than two minutes:

Vandenberg2 The Miami Herald reports: "It took 14 years, $8.6 million in mostly public funds, endless volunteer hours navigating 18 government agencies, and a winning auction bid by a local bank on courthouse steps that prevented the ship's purchase by metal scrappers. At 523 feet, the Vandenberg is the second-largest ship ever intentionally sunk to create an artificial reef. The 510-foot USS Spiegel Grove off Key Largo was the largest when it was sunk in 2002. But four years later, it lost that distinction when the 904-foot aircraft carrier USS Oriskany was sunk 24 miles off Pensacola. Key West Mayor Morgan McPherson said the Vandenberg will be a perfect new tourist attraction, calling it 'the southernmost underwater museum on the historic trail of sunken ships in the Keys.'''

Watch the sinking of the Vandenberg, AFTER THE JUMP...

USS Vandenberg [official site]