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Underwater memorial site created in Sarasota to honor submarine tragedies

“It really is a tribute to their service and they want to participate"
Posted at 2:16 PM, May 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-22 18:25:01-04

SARASOTA, Fla. — Dozens of veteran boarded a fishing charter in Sarasota on Wednesday to help create an underwater memorial site for those lost on submarines throughout the years.

“What we are doing today is creating the first deep sea memorial honoring the entire submarine service,” said Eternal Reefs CEO George Frankel.

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According to the NavyTimes, 65 submarines and over 4,000 submariners have been lost at sea since the Navy's undersea force was created in 1900.

The veterans came from all over Florida to help with the site dedication.

"I want to do all these things that I can do before I pass, because this day in age a lot of that has been lost, a lot of Vietnam veterans didn’t get their due,” said Navy Veteran Bill Heck.

The reef balls will serve as an underwater memorial, and also create a natural habit for marine life.

“The entire reef ball concept is designed around increasing habitat, they have textured micro surfaces the allow the microorganisms to land,” said Frankel.

Frankel said the ceremony was moving for the veterans.

“It really is a tribute to their service and they want to participate,” said Frankel.