Coastal Conservation Association, U.S. Customs and several non-profits in St. Lucie County have successfully created a new artificial reef. On Sunday, a 180-foot freighter, known as the Voici Bernadette, was sunk in 100 feet of water roughly 11 miles southeast of the Fort Pierce Inlet! This site was named the Curtis Bostick Artificial Reef, thanks to a generous donation from the CCA.
The freighter was donated to St. Lucie County by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol after it was seized for smuggling drugs into Miami from Haiti. Prior to deployment, the vessel spent a year docked in St. Lucie County, while crews and volunteers removed items and cleaned the ship. Items from the vessel were auctioned off by MMPS Environmental Services, which continues to raise funds for the county’s artificial reef program. Just days before deployment, more than 200 tons of concert were donated by the Orlando Utilities Commission and loaded into the ship’s haul to help stabilize the vessel on the bottom on the sandy sea floor. Additional support came from the Environmental Protection Agency, NOAA National Marine Fisheries Services, Army Corps of Engineers, Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission and the Board of County Commissioners. Before deployment, lionfish attraction devices were added to the ship by the Vero Beach-based group, The Frapper.
On Sunday, roughly 300 boaters made the trip out to the deployment site to watch the Voici Bernadette’s final voyage. Once the ship sunk, the sounds of cheers and boat horns filled the air.
Here are the coordinates: ·Wheelhouse coordinates - 80*02.985' 27*23.870'
·Bow coordinates - 80*02.970', 27*23.865'