Video: Small Cruise Ship Sunk as Artificial Reef Off Delaware
On Monday, a contractor for the Delaware State Division of Fish and Wildlife sank the 200-foot cruise ship American Glory about 15 nautical miles off Indian River Inlet, adding another hull to the growing string of artificial reefs off Delaware.
Delaware has more than a dozen permitted artificial reef sites within Delaware Bay and along the coast, and its state government actively promotes reefing defunct ships and other usable debris. Artificial reefs provide recreational opportunities for divers and habitat for fish, including desirable species like seabass, striped bass and bluefish. Delaware's well-known Redbird Reef is home to more than 700 defunct New York City subway cars, making it a favorite attraction.
Other additions to the state's reefs include the former Cape May ferry Twin Capes, which went down at the Del-Jersey-Land Inshore Artificial Reef in June 2018; the destroyer USS Arthur W. Radford, which went down in 2011; and the Zuni/Tamaroa, a harbor tug which survived the Battle of Iwo Jima and served as a U.S. Coast Guard cutter.
The American Glory was a 49-passenger luxury cruise ship operated by American Cruise Lines. She was built by Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Maryland in 2002 and was primarily deployed on inland and coastal routes along the U.S. East Coast. In 2015, her operator reported that she had placed fifth on the list of the “World’s Best Cruise Ships” in the 2014 Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice awards, but she was removed from service several years later: she has not transmitted an AIS signal since December 2017.