Air Force Ship Becomes Artificial Reef Off Fla. Keys
WWII cargo ship also tracked missiles and spacecraft
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted May 27, 2009 1:40 PM CDT
Veterans who served on the US missile tracking ship Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg walk on the ship they once served.   (AP Photo/Florida Keys News Bureau, Mike Marrero)
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(Newser) – Demolition experts sank an Air Force ship this morning to create an artificial reef in the Florida Keys, the AP reports. The 17,000-ton, WWII-era cargo ship took less than 2 minutes to sink after a series of explosions. The new "reef" is expected to bring in about $8 million in tourism revenue, just shy of the $8.6 million it took—over 14 years—to win approval for its demolition, adds the Miami Herald.

"I can't think of a better final use of a ship that has had a long, hard career all around the world," said a man who worked on the vessel when it was a Cold War missile tracker. Today's sinking of the 523-foot long Vandenberg—the second-largest ship ever sunk to create a reef—was broadcast online.