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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 mid-May.

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 been established.

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 been established. Official U.S. Navy file photo of the decommissioned aircraft carrier Oriskany by Gary Nichols.

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.

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.

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.

Pensacola, Fla. (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.

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.

- For related news, visit the Naval Sea Systems Command Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/navsea/.

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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).

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