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USS John F Kennedy

Discussion in 'Artificial Reefs' started by truck1, Dec 4, 2007.

  1. truck1

    truck1 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Central FL
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    I was reading todays paper and although this is not a true reef, it could be very interesting if this plan works out.
    There is a group of people who would like to save the decomissioned US aircraft carrier USS John F Kennedy, turn her into a museum in or around the Miami Ft Lauderdale area, build a concrete tank around her, fill it with fresh water and possibly allow divers to diver her hull below the water line.Eithrt way I think it would be a cool thing to see.
    heres a link to the news story:
    Idea: Make warship a museum -- OrlandoSentinel.com

    and heres the actual site:
    JFK CV 67 Memorial Foundation, Inc.
     
  2. mike_s

    mike_s Solo Diver

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    I'm betting allowing divers on it is doubtfull.

    The USS John F Kennedy was commisioned in 1968.

    The USS Forrestal was commissioned in 1955 and later the hull was modified with features similar to the Nimitz class. I'm betting the JFK was also. If so, they won't allow divers near her. Which is why they are sinking (reefing) the Forrestal in deep, deep, water.
     
  3. truck1

    truck1 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Central FL
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    True, but you never know.I just thought it was interesting in the concept.I thought Forrestal was becoming a museum? I know they put the America down recently in several thousand feet of water after tests to see what modern torpedoes,missiles and gun fire will do to a modern carrier.
     
  4. mike_s

    mike_s Solo Diver

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    They are/were trying to make it a museum. But the could never get the plan completed (and funded).

    It was in the news a year or so ago that the Navy planned to sink it as a reef. Do a google search and you'll find several references to it as a reef, but mostly veterans trying to save it from that fate and make it a museum.


    As for the USS JFK being in a concrete pool of fresh water, unless they treat that water, it will become a slime pond and not much excitement for diving. I doubt that will happen anyway as they prob could really care less if it was floating.

    I'm betting they do what they did with the USS Alabama (battleship) in Mobile. From what I'm told, they towed it in place in shallow water and then filled the lower decks and bildge with sand. This served two purposes. One was to make the ship very heavy and sink to the shallow bottom to hold it in place in the event of a hurricane. The other was to make it hard to recover the vessel to return it to service.

    they later built a small concrete wall around it also encasing the ship in protected water. But the pool around it is shallow and I wouldn't think suitable for diving. they also reportedly pumped sand in around that wall so to help stablize the ship for storms also. And she is storm worthy. She's rode out several hurricanes in her current position without problem.
     
  5. truck1

    truck1 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Central FL
    833
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    I was thinking about the logistics of what they were talking about.In the article they said they wanted to put steel beems under welded to the hull and build the pool around her.I would think that that alone would be really expensive, let alone the stagnant water that would result.I just think it was an interesting idea even if it does not work out.

    As for the Alabama she moved during the Katrina I think it was and was closed for a while because when she moved (The tide over came her concrete wall and floated her away from the pier, on the out going surge enough to land on the built up sand next to her according to her website right after it happened)she damaged the gangways and she had a 5=/- list to the shore side.

    The ship herslef I dont think was damaged but the shore failitles were.
    U.S.S. Alabama
     
  6. DA Aquamaster

    DA Aquamaster Directional Toast ScubaBoard Supporter

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    I don't think diver inspection of the hull would be that big a deal as it is still 40 year old hull protection technology and the former Soviet Union probably had the construction plans before the workmen. And you just are not going to be able to tell that much from an exterior inspection. On the other hand, diving under a carrier would be unique - for about 5 minutes - but would qucikly devolve into the world's most boring wreck dive. Given the beam of the ship, it would be more like a cavern dive but with no interesting features to look at.

    In addition, I agree a freshwater pond would soon be a slimey, smelly brown looking duck pond with post duck related goo on the bottom unless it were clorinated and that would be a big pool to treat. They'd be a better off from the good neighbor perspective designing a self flushing salt water pond that could be drained for periodic hull cleaning/painting and anode replacement.

    Personally, as a diver, and given the cool response by the communities that would potentially host a vessel that they seem to regard as an eyesore, I'd advocate for reefing it in very diveable water - somewhere closer to shore and more accessible than the CV-34 with perhaps better viz. And if security is an issue, reefing it would put the lower 20-25 feet of hull in the sand.
     
  7. mike_s

    mike_s Solo Diver

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    yeah... I forgot she listed... but I remember the storm damage. They had to close the park for some time until repairs were made. Another note that's not listed on there is that several members of the park "rode out the storm" on the ship.

    While it mentions the concrete gangways were damaged, what it doesn't say is that the crewmembers(park workers) who stayed on board for the storm, drove their cars up the huge concrete gangways and onto the ship deck in order to protect them from the storm surge. While this saved their cars from flooding, ironically because of the damage they couldn't drive them back down because of the damage to the gangway.

    Anyway, this is why the USS Oriskany was towed back to Texas from P'cola over the winter while they were waiting for permits to sink it. They didn't want it in P'Cola harbor during hurricane season and have it 1.) sink in place, 2.) get loose and blown around from the storm and damage everything else or sink in the harbor, or 3.) get blown up on land in tidal surge and have to deal with that problem. Not much you can do with an aircraft carrier loose in 130mph winds and a 20 foot tidal surge besides let it goes where it wants.

    Actually, while you'd initially think that's true, just because the hull is 40 years old doesn't mean it's been modified any. this was true in the case of the Forrestal. As for exterior inspections, when they are in drydock they keep a pretty tight security around those ships. The first thing they do when they get them out of the water is cover up the screws with tarps so that no one can see them for example. They don't want any design features of the screws to get out so that sonar listening can be modeled for their design.
     
  8. truck1

    truck1 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Central FL
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    I did not know that the ride out crew drove their cars on to Alabama.At least they were safe on deck.For the duration of the rebuild.

    Personally I would rather see that the Kennedy made a museum with most of the ideas such as the musuem for the late President,and his family, I would not mind seeing a more modern carrier reefed somewhere on the Atlantic coast preferably in the Keys where it can be dove year round without the need for a 2 hour run.The only reason that the Oriskaney is that far off shore is that the Gulf is relatively shallow and they needed I think it was 45 feet over her bridge for ship clearance.Which makes me think that if the Oriskaney is in 212 feet of water due to her height, anyone know how deep would a Kennedy or Forrestal class need for the same amount of water over her bridge?(How tall are they from keel to the top of the bridge?)
     
  9. mike_s

    mike_s Solo Diver

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    yeah... I remember seeing the story on the local news is all....

    the problem with that is funding and finding a deep water pier that is big enough to handle that ship and for it to be lost for use as a commercial use pier again.

    It all depends on the permit required for the sinking, which is issued by the Corp of Engineers. I talked to the person with Escambia county who obtained the Oriskany permit and he told me that the Corp required something like 55 feet clearance for the permit. (I can't remember exactly) In order to meet that clearance requirement they did two things. 1.) remove items from the top of the bridge to lower the depth requirement. this included the mast, antenna, radar arays, etc. and still make it a diveable wreck depth wise for recreational divers and 2.) find a deepwater spot suitable based on the new top eleveation.

    One other concern of the depth of the carrier was the width of the flight deck and the chance she was sunk on her side, or a storm knocked it on her side, how far would the flight deck protrude upwards. I calculated this in another thread somewhere and will go look for it.... Anyway, this would be a concern of any carrier they sunk in water shallow enough to dive on., including the JFK.

    As for sinking one in south Floirda or the Keys, I'm all for it. However, my only concern with that is that to get deep enough to sink her in that location, you'd have to get out into the current of the Gulf Stream a decent amount. The current on deeper recreational wrecks such as the Speigel Grove and the Duane are pretty strong in their locations of 120 to 130 feet deep. If you get out to the 220 feet deep range, then the current at the top of the island at 65' would very likely be scattering divers all along the gulf stream. I don't think it would be ideal to run dive operations with general divers in that kind of current. just my opinion.
     
  10. truck1

    truck1 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Central FL
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    I think someone some where has a pier that they could do with out.They did it in NYC with the Intrepid.From what I understand,Zach Fischer talked the Mayor and other City officials in to giving them the pier that the Intrepid is usually on (she was in drydock for refurb and is now in Staten Island finishing her refurb while her pier is rebuilt.) and getting money to rehab the pier (at that time)as well.Seems 25 years of the tides and winds pushing on the carrier was pulling the pier apart.
    At the same time, you dont need a true pier.If someone had a area of land that was big enough to get the carrier near, all you would need would be several large concrete pilings( the ones I am thinking of are about 50-60 feet in diameter like the ones that are holding the Missouri in Pearl Harbor) with a couple of ramps or gangways to the shore.Thinking about it since Mayport (the Kennedys former port) is getting closer to the questionable closing status (since it is not equipped to handle a nuclear carrier as a homeport and the last fossil fuel carrier is in Japan and not likely to leave until she is retired) that might be a good place to put a carrier museum.Or 2.(Assuming the Navy does not update the handling facilities for a nuclear carrier home port or puts anything else there)I know that while the Kennedy was in port every once in a while one of the Nimitz class carriers would stop in for a few days before continuing on their way.

    As for the currents in the Gulf stream,you are right but unfortunately its ultimately a trade off.Ive been to the Spiegle several times where the current was either negligible or hanging on for dear life and listening to the water race past my ears, on the ascent line.What can you do?
     

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