Escambia County, Fla., has a new artificial reef — the 87’x25’x10’ decommissioned steel tugboat Ocean Wind.
Located 10 miles southeast of Pensacola, Fla., in the Gulf of Mexico, the tug was sunk in January with cameras mounted at various places inside the vessel to capture footage as she went down.
The Ocean Wind was purchased by Escambia County and partially funded by private donations. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission funded the cleaning, preparation, towing and deployment costs through a grant from the state of Florida special legislative appropriation bill for artificial reef construction.
According to the Pensacola News Journal, the Ocean Wind was built in 1952 and served as a shipdocking assist tug until September 2013.
“It was actually the tugboat that towed out many of our existing artificial reefs into the Escambia County artificial reef inventory. So it’s very fitting that this tug herself will take her place among our artificial reefs,” Robert Turpin, Escambia County’s Marine Resources Manager, told WUWF FM last year.