The weather could not have been more perfect as the Outrageous V pulled away from the dock on Tuesday morning. The goal of the day was to sink an old barge, donated by Taylor Brothers Marine Construction, to the Artificial Reef Program. The Eastern Carolina Artificial Reef Association acquired the barge about 9 months ago and has been working tirelessly to prepare the vessel to become the next victim of the Graveyard of the Atlantic. The tow to the AR-330 site (Indra) took approximately 4 hours. Once the barge was moved into position she was attached the Indra with a cable about 150 feet off the stern. As the soft patches on either side were removed the workers on deck began pumping sea water into the bilge, all that was left to do was wait. Once the soft patches started dipping below the surface it was time for the workers to break down the pumps and clear off the deck, it was only a matter of time now.
Slowly but surely the stern dipped lower and lower into the water until she quickly began venting air and sinking below the surface. By three o'clock on Wednesday afternoon the barge that spent the majority of her life at Taylor Brother Marine, was in her final resting place in 65 feet of water. After a short wait the first divers were in the water and found her lying upright and intact. Teams of divers worked to recover gear and use lift bags to move steal beams into place that will help provide some relief for the animals. In addition to the beams there is also a metal tower erected by Tandemloc on the bow, 5 reef balls and an old boat trailer mounted on the deck that was donated by Outer Banks Boatworks. By the time the Outrageous V pulled anchor and headed home the barge was already home to numerous fish that had already found their way into the nooks and crannies of the vessel.
The Eastern Carolina Artificial Reef Association would like to thank the following businesses that helped make this possible.
Taylor Brother Marine Construction
Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary
Tow Boat US