New Artificial Reef Coming to Palm Beach County

Scuba divers and fishermen will be delighted to learn an exciting new artificial reef will soon be deployed in the waters offshore Palm Beach County. The 110’ Canadian Tugboat Pocahontas has been acquired through a joint effort by TJ McCauley, The Palm Beach County Dive Association, and Palm Beach County Environmental Resources Management. Carman Vare, Environmental Program Supervisor for Palm Beach County Department of Environmental Resources Management confirms, “We anticipate scuttling the vessel the last week of January, pending decent sea conditions.” He went on to say, “We need 2’ seas or less.  Best time to sink vessels is in the morning around 9:00-10:00 AM.” Plans call for the tugboat to be placed in 80’ of water approximately one mile north of the Lake Worth Inlet. The new reef will be named the “Danny McCauley Memorial Reef”

A significant amount of the funding for this project was realized from a personal donation by TJ McCauley, whose 17 year old son; Danny was killed in a tragic car accident on February 22, 2012. Additional money was raised through the website which was created to raise funds and awareness for the artificial reef project. Danny, a junior at Palm Beach Central High School, was described as, “An avid free diver and spear fisherman, an outdoorsman to the core.” His family, friends, and others have chosen to memorialize him with this contribution to the diving and fishing community and have been instrumental in bringing this project to fruition.

The Pocahontas is being prepared to be an artificial reef for the next chapter in its long life by removing all environmentally hazardous materials and fluids, cutting holes into the hull, and removing potential hazards to divers.

Many local boaters will be on hand to witness the sinking and plans are being made for SCUBA divers to explore the wreck the day of its sinking.

Florida Dive Connection will report more information as it becomes available.

2/5/13 UPDATE- The sinking has been scheduled for Thursday, February 7, 2013. Plans are to anchor at the reef site at 9:00 am and proceed with the sinking soon after.

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