STUART, Fla. - The bulk carrier DM-ONE is clean, stripped, and ready to start its new purpose as an underwater condo for sea creatures to move in.
Funded entirely by the non-profit MCAC Artificial Reef Fund , money is raised by selling the naming rights and hosting fishing tournaments.
David Powell is the vice president of MCAC. "We've put over 20 artificial reefs out here in the 12 years that we've been running our fund."
Now, how do they go about sinking a 225 foot boat? Well, they don't blow it up! What they do is drill some big holes under the water line and they plug them up with plywood so it can get tugged out here, then one guy runs around the bottom of the boat with a big sledge hammer, knocks out the wood, and then jumps off the boat before it sinks.
After that, the water comes rushing in and about 50 minutes later….the boat disappears under the surface and quickly sinks to the bottom.
What was once a deserted ocean floor will quickly fill up with small bait fish, then bigger fish, then…the game fish!
Joseph Lehner of Bone Shaker Charters likes the reefs. "We use them extensively on our charter operation and it always gives you a place where you've got a shot at catching something."
In fact, Joe's won some tournaments fishing these reefs!
The reef is named after Ted and Lynne Glasrud's 15-year-old granddaughter Hailey, who lives in Minnesota and couldn't be here for the sinking.
"I've been texting her videos and pictures….she's very excited, just very excited…she's just over the top!"
Not many teenagers can say they have a reef named after them, and Hailey is excited to fish the reef when she comes back to South Florida.
The new reef is located 8.5 miles off the St. Lucie Inlet. Coordinates: lat 27 12.50 and long 80 00.20 at a depth of 187 feet.
Watch from the wheel house as the ship goes down: