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Navy Cargo Ship Sunk For Reef

January 22, 1989

FORT PIERCE, Fla. (AP) _ The USS Muliphen, a cargo ship with 44 years of naval history, was intentionally sunk in 175 feet of water to add to an artificial reef.

Former sailors came for the sinking Saturday, but only a salvage and tug crew were present when the 468-foot ship was sent to the bottom about four hours earlier than planned because of bad weather.

The salvage and tug crews were jostled by seven-foot seas and winds gusting to 25 knots just before the ship rolled slightly starboard and disppeared about 17 miles southeast of Fort Pierce Inlet.

The St. Lucie County Recreation and Parks Department, the Fort Pierce Sportfishing Club and private donors raised $107,000 for salvaging and sinking.

The Muliphen, commissioned in October 1944, joined two tugboats submerged earlier as part of the August A. Busch Jr. Artificial Reef, planned as a fish lure and a fishing spot.

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