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Trash into treasure: Abandoned ship transforms into artificial reef for marine life

Posted at 6:01 PM, Apr 23, 2019

HERNANDO BEACH, Fla. — An old abandoned ship once used for transporting illegal contraband is getting a new purpose.

The boat has been docked at the Hernando Beach Marina for 15 years after its owner died.

The marina donated the boat to the county to add to their Bendickson Reef, 20 miles off of the Hernando County coast.

The cement boat, now being called the “Ghost Ship,” was sunk 25 feet below the surface to act as a home for marine life like turtles, fish, and coral. And to be a destination for divers and fishermen.

"The engine has been removed, transmission, all grease, all oil, loose wires and hoses are all out of the boats so there’s nothing to get snagged on, and the fish can come and go, as can divers," said Frank Santo, Hernando County Port Authority chairman.

The project was completed by Hernando County Port Authority, Aquatics Services, volunteers and funded by donations.