Video: Luxury Ferry Sunk as Artificial Reef
On Friday, Delaware Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) sank the retired ferry Twin Capes at an artificial reef site off the coast of Cape May, New Jersey.
The Twin Capes went down at 1155 hours at the site of the the Del-Jersey-Land Inshore Artificial Reef. The vessel's sinking was carried out by Norfolk, Virginia-based marine contractor Coleen Marine, which bought the ferry from the Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) last year for the purpose of reefing.
The Twin Capes was built in 1975 and was one of the original three vessels of the Delaware River and Bay Authority's 1970s-era fleet. She underwent a major $27 million refit in 1996, including the construction of a new superstructure and four new decks, multiple lounges and restaraunts, a new pilot house, and “shark-fin” smokestacks. The DRBA intended to give her cruise-ship amenities in a ferry-sized envelope.
However, Twin Capes ran into difficulties after the refit. Her food service operations were shuttered in 2000 after the FDA found multiple sanitation violations, and as she cost more to fuel and man than other vessels in the fleet, the DRBA ultimately decided to put her up for sale.
Twin Capes never attracted a commercial buyer, but she has strong potential as a component of the artificial reef, DNREC said. The agency expects that the vessel's 70-foot vertical profile will attract tunas, sharks, barracudas and recreational divers.