Ship Purposefully Sunk in the Gulf to Become Part of New Reef

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Sixty-seven miles from the beaches of Galveston, 140 feet below the surface of the ocean lurks The Kraken! Well, it’s not quite as menacing as it sounds, but it is fascinating.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department recently sunk a 371-foot long cargo ship into the Gulf of Mexico as part of the Ship-to-Reef Program benefitting the Artificial Reef Program. The ship, named The Kraken, was built in 1984 in Japan and brought to the Gulf from Trinidad in 2016 to become part of the artificial reef. This isn’t the first time a ship has been purposely sunk in the area. One descended near South Padre in 2006, and another sank in 2014 near Mustang Island.

YouTube user Seas Diver, who uploaded a video of the final seven minutes of The Kraken sinking below the surface of the water, said that “the ship took approximately one hour to sink from the time at which the valves were opened to start the sinking process.”

According to the Beaumont Enterprise, the hopes for the artificial reef are high among officials. “An artificial reef provides an environment onto which invertebrates like barnacles, corals, sponges, and clams can attach. That creates a primary food chain that creates additional habitat to attract game fish like snapper, grouper, mackerel, shark and other fish species,” they write via the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.