Oriskany to be Largest Ship ‘Reefed’
Oriskany to be Largest Ship ‘Reefed’
From Naval Sea Systems Command Office
of Corporate Communications
Washington D.C. -- (NNS)
April 29, 2006 -- The decommissioned aircraft carrier ex-Oriskany (CV/CVA
34) will become the largest ship intentionally sunk as an artificial reef in
The 888-foot decommissioned aircraft
carrier Oriskany arrives in Pensacola on Dec. 20, 2004 from Corpus
Christi, Texas. Oriskany will be the Navy’s first ship to be sunk under the
authority provided under the fiscal year 2004 National Defense Authorization Act
(Public Law 108-136) and will be the largest ship sunk as an artificial reef.
The Oriskany artificial reef will benefit marine life, commercial and sport
fishing and recreational diving off the coast of Florida. The sink date has not
Official U.S. Navy file photo of the decommissioned aircraft carrier Oriskany
by Gary Nichols
In November 2004, President George Bush signed the 2004
National Defense Authorization Act, allowing the Navy to transfer inactive
vessels to states, U.S. possessions, municipal corporations and municipalities
for artificial reefing purposes.
"The sinking of the ex-Oriskany will provide an additional offshore location for
the regional recreational fishery and diving industries, which will translate
into positive economic benefits for Pensacola and the State of Florida,” said
Capt. Larry Jones, the Navy's Inactive Ships program manager.
Built in 1945, Oriskany received precedent-setting approval
from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) after a series of studies
indicated that the ship will create an environmentally safe artificial reef.
EPA Region IV issued a risk-based Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) disposal
approval in February based on their findings that the disposal action would
not pose an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment.
Resolve Marine Group employees, left,
Aaron Nahapetian and Robert Lee Jr., begin pulling cable in off the flight deck
aboard the decommissioned aircraft carrier USS Oriskany (CVA 34) in preparation
for the ship's scheduled sinking. Oriskany is schedule to be scuttled 22 miles
south of Pensacola in approximately 212 feet of water in the Gulf of Mexico May
17, 2006, where it will become the largest ship ever intentionally sunk as an
artificial reef. After the Oriskany reaches the bottom, ownership of the vessel
will transfer from the Navy to the State of Florida.
U.S. Navy photo by Journalist First Class Jackey Bratt
The 888-foot ship will be reefed in the Gulf of Mexico
approximately 24 miles off the coast of Pensacola, Fla., and will benefit
marine life, sport fishing and recreational diving in the area.
“The Navy’s seawater leaching studies and fate and transport
models show that the ex-Oriskany reef will be safe for both people and marine
life,” said Jones.
“The Navy takes environmental stewardship seriously and the ex-Oriskany sinking
will be a historic event for the Navy and the state of Florida to create a
habitat for marine life, sport fishing and recreational diving off the coast of
the Florida Panhandle,” said Jones.
On April 18, 2006, a pier side press
conference was held on board Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola for the
decommissioned aircraft carrier USS Oriskany (CVA 34), as the ship makes final
preparations for sinking on May 17th. Oriskany is schedule to be scuttled 22
miles south of Pensacola in approximately 212 feet of water in the Gulf of
Mexico May 17, 2006, where it will become the largest ship ever intentionally
sunk as an artificial reef. After the Oriskany reaches the bottom, ownership of
the vessel will transfer from the Navy to the State of Florida.
U.S. Navy photo by Mr. Gary Nichols
The notional sink date for ex-Oriskany is May 17, subject to
weather conditions. The Navy estimates it will take approximately five hours for
the ship to sink, ideally with the ship landing upright on the ocean floor at a
depth of approximately 212 feet. This will provide a 61-foot navigational
clearance above the ship at mean low water. After the vessel reaches the bottom,
ownership of the vessel transfers to the state of Florida.
The Inactive Ships Program Office, part of the Navy’s Program Executive Office
for Ships, is responsible for transitioning ships from the fleet for storage and
disposal, preserving the naval heritage through donations, enhancing marine
ecosystems through artificial reefing, and protecting the environment through
ship dismantling and recycling.
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