Deerifeld Beach is my favorite beach...I grew up on Deerfield Beach, got married on Deerfield and still go to the beach as often as I can....which isn't as much as I'd like.
Today a new reef was created. I posted some of the article below. It was pretty interesting to me, as I have always been a big believer in Angels and there is an Angel connection to this new reef...read below
The Miss Lourdies - a 38-year-old, 167-foot-long freighter - was sunk today to create an artificial reef a mile southeast of Boca Raton Inlet, near the Deerfield Beach and Boca Raton border.
The ship, which went down in about nine minutes as people in nearby boats watched and cheered, has had a history as a freighter and more recently, as a smugglers' container. The smuggling part came in June 2008, when it was docked on the Miami River.Through an investigation, special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement learned the ship was being used in an attempt to import 389 pounds of cocaine, said Nicole Navas, an ICE spokeswoman. U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized it.
The cocaine was worth millions of dollars. The government seized the ship last March and gave her to the city of Deerfield Beach.
"The plan was to make something special," said Arilton Pavan. The owner of Dixie Divers for several years has sought a reef for advanced open water divers at this site. He is part of a team of scuba aficionados and federal, city and Broward and Palm Beach County officials who worked together on the project.
As a reef, Miss Lourdies is expected to lure Goliath Grouper, moray eels, silver schools of jacks, cobia, stingray and nurse sharks, as well as customers of more than a dozen area dive shops and charter dive and fishing boats.
One of Pavan's diving clients, Dan Fasano of Lighthouse Point, contributed $10,000 for cleaning and stripping the ship and other costs.
Fasano survived cancer and a bone marrow treatment but is hospitalized. The founder of www.AsSeenOnTV.com, his dream is to christen the dive site "Miracle of Life," and use it to raise funds for cancer charities and new artificial reefs.
A 14-foot tall, solid bronze, 3,500-pound torch-bearing angel welded to Miss Lourdies' deck will greet divers.
"I believe in angels because they represent positive energy and good things," said Pavan about the $5,000 statue that Fasano purchased at a steep discount from Bernard Molyneux, owner of Antiques & Country Pine in Deerfield Beach.
Molyneux is also a cancer survivor."This angel will protect the reef and the divers," Pavan said.
Miss Lourdies was stripped of 50,000 pounds of wood, wire, insulation, pipes and valves, engines and generators by Bruce Schurger and The Bunnell Foundation Marine Contractors.
Schurger's crew cut eight 20-inch by 20-inch holes into the hull and screwed steel patches over them before filling the ship with 230,000 pounds of concrete ballast.
Once anchored above the reef site, four of Schurger's men had less than 15 minutes to unscrew and push the patches into the ocean before the ship took on sea water and sank 135 feet.
"They get extra pay for that," Schurger said previously of the work. "We rehearse it."
Anchors that weigh 2,000 pounds, each with a 500-foot chain, will help hold Miss Lourdies in place on the ocean floor."
It surprises me how many people want to help," Pavan said. "The goodness of the people is amazing. The way the economy is, we're looking for something positive. And this is positive."