UPDATE #4 Alabama Marine Resources Division on June 24, 2018: It was discovered that New Horizon drug anchor about 150ft out of the reef zone and had to be repositiioned. Marine Resources is hopeful it will be sunk on Monday, June 25th.
UPDATE #3 Alabama Marine Resources Division on June 23, 2018: The needed equipment arrived overnight! If all goes as planned she will be sitting on bottom between 12pm and 2pm, Sunday, June 24th. After AMRD completes their 2 dives she is open to the public!
UPDATE #2 from Alabama Marine Resources Division on June 21, 2018: Pumps used fill the vessel with water failed. The New Venture will now be scuttled on Monday, June 25th.
UPDATE #1 from Alabama Marine Resources Division on June 20, 2018: Due to towing complications, the New Venture will not arrive on site in time to scuttle her on Wednesday The new date and time set is Thursday, June 21st, at 8am.
Alabama’s soon-to-be-newest shipwreck reef - New Venture, a 250-foot surveying vessel - is scheduled to be flooded and sunk about 20 miles south of Orange Beach on Wednesday, June 20.
According to the Alabama Marine Resources Division, the coordinates will be 29 54.052N 87 32.893W. Weather permitting, the flooding process will begin at 8 a.m. on June 20 with the vessel hopefully on bottom by noon. Two dives by Marine Resources will be conducted before any other divers will be allowed to descend on the wreck. Marine Resources’ enforcement personnel will be on site and maintaining a safe working area. Once Marine Resources divers have completed their work dives, enforcement personnel will allow other vessels to enter the area. For the safety of workers and divers, boaters are asked to maintain the boundary being enforced.
According to reports by Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, New Venture will be reefed 20 miles south of Orange Beach in 120 feet of water. The top of the structure will be between 55 and 60 feet below the surface. Any deployed reefs must have a minimum of 50 feet clearance from the surface.
When divers finally see New Venture on the bottom of the Gulf, it will only the stripped hull of the ship with holes in the sides of the ship to create pass-throughs.
The money to create the shipwreck came from oil spill funds through a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
New Venture will be deployed near The LuLu, a 271-foot coastal freighter that was deployed in 2013 with tons of publicity and entertainment on a floating stage, orchestrated by local businessman and philanthropist Mac McAleer. The Alabama Gulf Coast Reef and Restoration Foundation (AGCRRF) spearheaded a fundraising drive to be able to sink The LuLu. McAleer was the main sponsor of The LuLu project.
For the latest updates on the ship sinking, follow the Alabama Marine Resources Division on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AlabamaMarineResourcesDivision.