Located about 6 nautical miles offshore at GPS coordinates 30‚Äô22.489/ 80‚Äô53.692, the Coast Guard ship Spike is resting in 65‚Äô of water. She is ready to both dive and fish and promises to be a huge addition to the local fisheries of N. E. Florida.
Years of planning, talks over coffee and countless telephone calls the retired Coast Guard buoy tender Spike is finally and permanently berthed offshore Jacksonville, Florida. Located about 6 nautical miles offshore at GPS coordinates 30‚Äô22.489/ 80‚Äô53.692 resting in 65‚Äô of water, she is ready to both dive and fish and promises to be a huge addition to the local fisheries of N. E. Florida.
On Wednesday July 15th 2009 @ 4 AM just as scheduled the Spike was towed to its final berth and anchored in the exact spot chosen by Federal and local agencies. Once properly anchored and secure valves were opened and temporary patches removed to allow sea water to fill the 75 ton vessel.
True to her heritage the Spike didn‚Äôt go down without a fight; several times the sinking came to a stand still defying this final event. The Jacksonville Fire Rescue marine division was also on hand and took full advantage of the situation to use their fire pumps as training while adding sea water to the hull. The Spike laden with tons of raw sea water listed hard to Starboard as the hull sunk lower and lower in the water.
A flotilla of 15 boats gathered the witness this historic event and at 11:30 AM she slipped quietly below the surface. Divers the same afternoon made the first trip to the ocean floor to inspect the condition of the Spike and although she went down on her starboard side she righted herself keel down upright facing west. The divers also reported spade fish, sea bass and starfish gathering around the Spike finding it a perfect home as an artificial reef.