VIDEO: Crews sink 180-foot ship at NC coast to help create reef for diving

North Carolina news

NORTH TOPSAIL BEACH, N.C. (WNCN) — Crews sank a ship Friday to help build an artificial reef for diving off the North Carolina coast.

The project is part of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ Artificial Reef Program.

The 180-foot ship was sunk Friday in Southern Onslow Bay, about 15 miles from Topsail Inlet and 18 miles from Masonboro Inlet.

North Carolina officials were helped by the Brian Davis Artificial Reef Memorial, which is named after a driver who lost his life in a diving accident several years ago, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality said in a news release Friday.

The sunken ship was called the Brian Davis, an Iris class buoy tender, originally commissioned by the U.S. Coast Guard and named Salvia.

The vessel was constructed in 1943 and first worked in the Great Lakes as an icebreaker in 1944. The vessel served in Portsmouth, Virginia during World War II and was moved to Alabama after the war.

THe ship was decommissioned in 1991.

Crews plan to sink some reef balls and concrete pipe at the site later this fall to enhance the dive site.

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