Crews sink retired hopper barge 30 miles offshore – News – Panama City News Herald

Attendees remembered father and son Glenn and Bubba Cooper, the lads memorialized, as avid fishermen, however Bubba additionally was remembered for creating numerous synthetic reefs.

The names of two native fishermen have been welded into the ecology Wednesday as crews sank a retired hopper barge to kind the area’s latest synthetic reef.

The barge, a surplus vessel from Eastern Shipbuilding, sank by means of about 130 ft of water earlier than settling in Large Area Artificial Reef Site B, about 30 miles offshore.

Attendees remembered father and son Glenn and Bubba Cooper, the lads memorialized, as avid fishermen, however Bubba additionally was remembered for creating numerous synthetic reefs.

“He made a lot of artificial reefs that I still fish today out of chicken coops,” stated Clayton Syfrett, president of the Bay County Artificial Reef Association.

The closing steps to create the Cooper Reef have been carried out Wednesday as employees opened pre-drilled holes on the barge and commenced filling the hull with seawater. Marine life was anticipated to start “moving in” to the brand new reef inside hours. Bait fish will use it for shelter, finally attracting bigger fish like snapper and grouper.

The reef is anticipated to be filled with various marine life inside about three years.

“Artificial reefs draw fish in and make homes for them,” Syfrett said. “It’s just like building a house that someone can move into.”

The bigger fish inhabitants on the space’s synthetic reefs appeal to fishermen and scuba divers, and native companies are anticipated to profit from the ensuing enhance in fishing and diving charters.

Exact GPS coordinates of the Cooper Reef quickly shall be out there at bcara.us.

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