• 66°

Artificial reef program sinks vessel off Topsail

The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ Artificial Reef Program, in partnership with the Brian Davis Artificial Reef Memorial, sank a 180-foot vessel on Friday, July 24 in Southern Onslow Bay.

The Brian Davis is a memorial vessel named in honor of a diver who lost his life in a diving accident several years ago. The Brian Davis is located at AR-368, which is about 15 miles from Topsail Inlet and 18 miles from Masonboro Inlet. This project was funded by donations from the diving community as well as Coastal Recreational Fishing License funds.

The memorial vessel is a 180-foot Iris class buoy tender originally commissioned by the US Coast Guard and named Salvia, according to a press release from NCDMF. The vessel was constructed in 1943 and began work 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 where she remained until decommissioned in 1991.

The tug was cleaned of environmental pollutants in accordance with Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regulations prior to reefing, stated the release. Its placement leaves a navigational clearance of approximately 20 feet. The division plans to sink some large reef balls and concrete pipe at the site later this fall.

GPS coordinates for AR-368 are: 34° 09.514’ N, 77° 25.782’ W.

The ship sinking project cost $268,000. The Davis Family, through fundraising, donated $65,000 towards the vessel. The remaining $203,000 was funded by a Coastal Recreational Fishing License grant.

“An artificial reef is a manmade underwater structure, typically built to promote marine life in areas with a generally featureless bottom. In North Carolina, they serve as crucial spawning and foraging habitat for many commercially and recreationally important fish species,” continued the release.

NCDMF maintains 68 artificial reefs located from estuarine waters to 38 miles from shore. They are situated so that they can be reached from every maintained inlet in the state.

For more information, about the program or the vessel sinking, contact Artificial Reef Program coordinator Jordan Byrum at 252-808-8036 or Jordan.Byrum@ncdenr.gov.

View video of the ship sinking here or below:

READ MORE IN OUR ON THE WATER SECTION HERE.

RECENT HEADLINES:

Seafood season: Fresh fish dishes for the family

Shoaling near Ocracoke forces reduction in Pamlico Sound ferry schedule

News

Running out of storm names, Atlantic season goes Greek

News

Regional COVID-19 case count update

News

Permit for water treatment system issued for Chemours site

News

Duck Town Council reviews promotions and contracts

News

Mascot name change presentation brought to Dare Board of Education

News

Dare County warns about coastal flooding and NC 12 impact

News

Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative linemen travel to Alabama to assist with Hurricane Sally damage

Crime

UPDATED: Body found in Virginia believed to be missing North Carolina man, suspect charged

Hyde

NCDOT: Bigfoot Slough dredging tentatively scheduled for next week

News

Cooper: North Carolina can elementary schools move to Plan A in October

News

ARHS reports additional COVID-19 related death in Bertie County

News

Unsettled weather visits Outer Banks

News

Four positive COVID-19 cases reported at Peak Resources

News

Additional COVID-19 related death reported in Pasquotank County

News

NC lieutenant governor: Reopen schools without mask mandate

News

Some North Carolina voters mistakenly get two absentee ballots

Currituck

Currituck County Board of Education names Lutz as superintendent

Lifestyles

Constitution Week begins Thursday

News

Split North Carolina appeals court retains two amendments

Schools

School bus driver class set in Columbia

Crime

Currituck County man sentenced in federal court for illegal gun possession

News

State and local COVID-19 updates

Hyde

Ocracoke Campground season extended through winter 2020-21

News

State relief bill funding comes to various agencies in northeastern North Carolina