KEY LARGO, Fla. — Two aging Coast Guard cutters have been scuttled to create an artificial reef for marine life and a new attraction for divers off the Florida Keys.
The 327-foot Bibb hit the bottom Saturday. It followed its sister ship, a 1930s-era rust bucket named Duane, which went down Friday.
Three 21,000-gallon-per-hour pumps filled the Duane with sea water. When the decks were awash after about five hours, ropes holding plywood patches in place on the vessel's sides were cut.
Bulkhead doors were welded open to provide easy passage by divers, and a pair of diver-sized holes were drilled near the stern.