A group of divers landed at Florida Key National Marine Sanctuary on Sunday to mark the 20th anniversary of the sinking of a former US ship. A commemorative plaque was erected on the 510-foot-tall iconic ship Spiegel Grove, which sank prematurely on May 17, 2002.
The ship turned into an artificial wall after sinking two decades ago.
The plaque was erected in honor of the veterans who served on the ship, which was launched in 1956. It also honors the multi-million dollar supporters of the project.
Spiegel Grove attracted international attention when it landed on the surface of the water 6 miles (10 km) off the coast of Key Largo with its inverted-down bow. The Independent reports that on June 10, 2002, Spiegel Grove sank completely next to its Starboard after a massive clean-up operation.
Strong currents and waves created by Hurricane Dennis resulted in the ship having its intended upright position and pushing eastward towards Cuba which forced the ship into position.
“Finally, Spiegel Grove is a story that Hollywood will not be able to screen in a million years,” Rob Blaster, a key largo dive operator and drowned project manager, was quoted as saying by The Independent.
According to CBS News, Spiegel Grove is the third largest ship in the world to have deliberately sunk into an artificial wall. One of the most popular diving sites in the Florida area, the ship attracts thousands of divers each year, the report added.
The 20th anniversary of the sinking was marked May 15-17, according to local publication Kiss Weekly. The ship’s organizing museum has launched a month-long exhibition on the ship in its research library on the occasion. It will keep visitors informed of the ruins and its fascinating heritage until May 31, Keys Weekly further reports.