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An old cargo ship has been transformed into an artificial reef off Key Biscayne in Florida, with the aim of promoting marine life and diving tourism

Written by Rafaela Fabris
Published 29/05/2024 às 16:15
An old cargo ship has been transformed into an artificial reef off Key Biscayne in Florida, with the aim of promoting marine life and diving tourism
Ophelia Brian Photo: Avido Diving/Disclosure

A 64-metre-long cargo ship, formerly called Sea Taxi, has been sunk to become an artificial reef. Renamed Ophelia Brian, in honor of the benefactor who made this transformation possible, the ship will now serve as a marine habitat and diving tourist spot.

The Sea Taxi ship, seized by the Coast Guard in 2005 due to a drug trafficking case, had been idle for years and almost became a vessel abandoned. Two years before the sinking, it was purchased and prepared to become an artificial reef. The Ophelia Brian was sunk off Key Biscayne in 2010, an area near Florida's Miami-Dade County known for its reefs and popular with divers.

The process of transforming the Sea Taxi into an artificial reef began with the drilling of several holes in the ship's waterline. At the time of sinking, the wooden covers of these holes were removed, allowing water to quickly flood the ship, causing it to sink in a controlled manner.

Creating artificial reefs like Ophelia Brian helps

Miami-Dade, Florida, faces many challenges in maintaining its natural reefs, which suffer from the stress and pressure of such a developed area. Creating artificial reefs like Ophelia Brian helps alleviate this pressure by providing additional habitat for fish and other marine life.

In addition to the environmental benefits, Ophelia Brian will also become an important tourist diving spot. Miami-Dade is already known as one of the reef diving capitals of the world, and the new artificial reef will only strengthen that reputation.

Ship descended cleanly and settled on the seabed at a depth of 35 meters at the bow

During the sinking, the ship descended cleanly and settled on the seabed at a depth of 35 meters at the bow and 32 meters at the stern. Over time, the ship is expected to be covered in marine life, making it a vibrant reef and a must-see destination for divers.

Miami-Dade's artificial reef program is highly recognized and the Ophelia Brian is another valuable addition. In addition to supporting marine life, these artificial reefs attract tourists, benefiting the local economy and promoting the conservation of natural resources.

Creating artificial reefs from sunken ships is an effective way of recycling old vessels, providing new habitats marine and recreational opportunities for divers. Over time, Ophelia Brian will become a thriving reef and an example of how human intervention can help preserve and protect our oceans.

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Rafaela Fabris

Talks about innovation, renewable energy, oil and gas. Updates daily on opportunities in the Brazilian job market.

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