Ferry ‘Twin Capes’ sank near the coast of Cape May, New Jersey
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Ferry ‘Twin Capes’ sank near the coast of Cape May, New Jersey

A ferry sank off the coast of Cape May, New Jersey, but there’s nothing to worry about because Delaware Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) intentionally sank a retired ferry called Twin Capes off the coast at a specific artificial reef site adding another attraction for divers and fishes, sharks, and other aquatic animals as an artificial reef.

Retired & decommissioned Twin Capes went down at 1155 hours at a site at the Del-Jersey-Land Inshore Artificial Reef which is about 20 miles off the coast. A Virginia-based marine contractor Coleen Marine carried out the humongous task after it bought the retired ferry from the Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) for the sole purpose of reefing. Built in 1975, Twin Capes was one of the three vessels originally built by Delaware River and Bay Authority. The ferry underwent a massive refit worth $27 million in 1996.

During the refit, the ferry got a new pilot house, multiple lounges, restaurants, shark-fin smokestacks, four new decks, and new superstructure where DRBA tried to accommodate all the cruise-like amenities in a ferry-sized ship, however, Twin Capes ran into trouble soon after the refit. It received violations notices from FDA after the agency found out that the food service operations on the ferry have multiple sanitation violations. Another major issue revolving around the ferry was that it sucked up more fuel than others making it difficult to be profitable and thus, DRBA decided to sell it but didn’t receive any commercial buyer.

All things apart, the ferry had already attracted companies wanting it to be an artificial reef which can be achieved by sinking the ship in the seabed where divers can carry out their recreational activities. The reef attracts barracudas, sharks, tunas, and all forms of aquatic life due to its 70-foot vertical profile making it a great prospect for an artificial reef.