3.6 Nautical Miles off Sea Girt
The Sea Girt reef is located atop an underwater ridge known as the "Klondike". This is an area of clean sandy bottoms, and usually has relatively good visibility. Fish life abounds on all sites in this reef, although lobstering is slim. There are many more Army tanks than shown here, as well as quite a bit of concrete rubble scattered throughout the reef. The Sea Girt Reef is one of the oldest artificial reef sites in New Jersey. Reef-building activities at this site date back to 1937. Minimum clearance at mean low water is 50 feet.
The train rails appear to have been removed
Side-scan sonar image. A big box.
"Car" refers to railroad cars - this barge was used to transport containers in-harbor.
This is a very big flat-topped tanker barge. The stern is the most interesting area, with a small platform and myriad big pipes and valves, and a big notch in the transom where the tugboat would go. Good spearfishing in this area as well. The bow of the barge is less interesting. A number of open hatches in the deck at 65 ft allow access to the interior, which is very dark.
Side-scan sonar image
Please support the Artificial Reef Program so
that they can sink the rest of this ship !
Think of it as a miniature inshore Algol, or half-Algol. The vessel was scrapped halfway through construction, and donated to the Artificial Reef Program. In this state it would require very little clean-up, with no engine room or other contaminated areas. The triangular space inside the bow is easily penetrated, the cargo tanks are less so. A field of concrete rubble extends around the site, ideal home for fish and lobsters.
Restorer ( center ) under tow with Golden Eagle
The Restorer sank unexpectedly while under tow. The situation was complicated by the fact that she was the center vessel of a string of three. The tugboat crew severed the tow line to the Restorer in a nick of time, but as she went down, the other towline to the Golden Eagle catapulted that ship perilously close to the tug. In the end, everything worked out.
Side-scan sonar image
The Smoke II was built in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1958. It was 52 feet in length, steel, pumped 2,000 gallons per minute, and was equipped with two monitors (water nozzles). The fireboat was commissioned to be used as the chief’s tender for all marine operations and served as a command post. Later it was used as a backup for Marine Unit 6, the Kevin Kane. After September 11, 2001, the Smoke II pumped water to the World Trade Center site following the attacks. The boat also transported Fire Capt. Al Fuentes from the site to a trauma center in New Jersey after he was rescued from the rubble.
Swenson Barge I
Side-scan sonar image - Swenson barge I
Swenson barge II
An M-113 APC is pushed overboard to build a reef.
While former Army vehicles are scattered all over the artificial reefs, at this particular spot there are enough to make them worth a dive in themselves - 15 in all. This underwater battlefield is composed mainly of M-113 APCs, with a few other types thrown in. The large tailgate door at the back of each APC is removed, making it a sort of miniature cave. On a clear day you could probably get some interesting pictures.
M-578 armored cranes being cleaned prior to sinking. Several of these lie at this site.
A crane gets dunked