A drone was able to take a video of a retired ferry as it sunk to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, as the vessel was given renewed purpose in being part of an artificial reef.
The ferry, which took people on thousands of trips before it was decommissioned, will now be providing a habitat for marine animals.
MV Twin Capes Added To Del-Jersey-Land Artificial Reef
MV Twin Capes, a retired ferry from the Cape May-Lewes Ferry fleet, is the latest vessel to become part of the Del-Jersey-Land artificial reef.
The 2,100-ton, 320-foot MV Twin Capes shuttled people on thousands of trips between Cape Henlopen and Cape May. The ferry, which started operations over 40 years ago, has joined the 327 subway cars from New York City and several military vessels that form the Del-Jersey-Land artificial reef.
Artificial reef coordinator Jeff Tinsman, from the Division of Fish and Wildlife of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, said that the ferry was joining a "unique community." He witnessed the sinking of the MV Twin Capes, which he ensured will sink at the exact location that was specified for it.
The MV Twin Capes was retrofitted in a $27 million renovation in the 1990s, adding structures that will now benefit marine animals. The ferry will result in the formation of habitats that will likely attract tuna, sharks, and even barracudas, depending on the season. The MV Twin Capes will also be providing a unique diving area, as people will be able to swim through the spots on the vessel previously used for parking.
The MV Twin Capes was taken 26 miles off the coast before it was submerged. The drone video that captured the sinking of the ferry, taken by NJ.com, noted that holes were cut into the vessel so that water will enter the hull. It took only a few minutes for the MV Twin Capes to lean sideways and start to disappear into the water.
Saving The Reefs
In addition to providing habitats to marine animals, the Del-Jersey-Land artificial reef also helps break underwater ocean currents. Similarly, natural coral reefs function as natural barriers that prevent ocean storms from causing floods.
Unfortunately, the loss of coral reefs means that coastal areas have become more prone to flooding. Scientists and experts have been trying to help coral reefs recover from the damage being caused by global warming, and artificial reefs are one of the few ways.