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Texas Clipper - South Padre Island TX


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She spent time in the Pacific during World War II as an attack transport ferrying fresh troops and supplies into battle and caring for injured Marines during their journeys to hospitals and safe ports. She sailed round trips to the Mediterranean in the 1950’s carrying passengers in first class style and cargo to and from their destinations. She trained sea cadets in the great maritime tradition of Texas A&M University at Galveston for three decades.

After several weather delays, the Texas Clipper began her fourth life as an artificial reef on Saturday, November 17 at 12:35 p.m. A small armada of boats carried curious visitors to the reef site in the Gulf of Mexico 17 nautical miles off the coast of South Padre Island. Over 200 people viewed the reefing in 5-7 ft seas. Officials from Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD), the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service were on site to observe the reefing. A TPWD helicopter hovered overhead to capture an aerial view of the event for the media. Local elected officials and invited guests from the local community were on hand to celebrate the event. A number of Sea Aggies, former crew members of the ship while it served as a training vessel for Texas A&M University at Galveston, made their way to the sinking aboard commercially chartered vessels and private boats to witness the transition to her fourth and final life as home to sea life and a destination for divers and anglers. Many will continue visiting her as she surrounds herself with a growth of marine organisms. Scientists will soon be studying the development of the reef community.

The ship did not follow the sinking plan as designed and is now lying on its port side in approximately 134 feet of water. The highest point on the ship is 62 feet below the ocean surface. TPWD is in discussions with Resolve Marine Services to explore feasible options to right the vessel. Artificial Reef divers Dale Shively, John Embesi, Doug Peter, and Jeremy Helms made two dives on the vessel 2 days after it was reefed. Pinfish, silversides, and remora had already taken up residence on the ship.

She is marked with a yellow spar buoy that is attached to the anchor. One mooring buoy is attached to the stern end of the ship.

Comments

Frank437 - 2/01/2016 9:52 AM
Rating Added: 3
It’s a fun dive. Visibility is usually not too bad. Lots of marine life.
Texas-Grrl - 11/28/2015 5:33 PM
Rating Added: 2
Bad vis on our dives. Would like to give it another try and hope for better visibility.
Czechcanadian - 9/02/2015 3:07 AM
Just dove this wreck on 8/29/15 and 8/30/15. The viz was bad the first day but excellent on the second day. Water temp bellow the thermocline was 76F. A slight strong current. Diving was great. You could see huge schools of Lookdowns, Atlantic Spadefish, Stingrays, Sharpnose Puffers and much more marine life. Can’t wait to go out there again next year. I talked to the dive shop down there and they’re going to have Dive Week this month.
HillCountryDiver - 8/20/2014 1:30 PM
Rating Added: 5
8/16/2014 - Great diving, excellent visibility.
cm2002ss - 7/06/2013 11:39 AM
Rating Added: 3
Went for July 4th weekend. A little too cold past 80 ft for a 3mil. I’d take a hood and vest and gloves. Cool fish!
Nitediver - 7/05/2013 6:40 AM
I went scuba diving here on 7/4/2013. Average viz: 101-110ft/31-34m.
2 Lbs heavy large schools of angel fish lots of life
Nitediver - 7/05/2013 6:36 AM
Rating Added: 4
Great dives. Rays angelfish etc everywhere. Boat dive with American Diving. Good boat great crew. Weather was cooperating fully no waves just mild swells and a small number of divers made for exceptional diving.
Nitediver - 7/07/2013 7:15 AM
I made this dive in a 2 mil and was very comfortable. Thermacline was noticeable but not bad. according to my dive computer it dropped from 82 to 73 at about 100 feet.
MPGONZO - 8/29/2012 2:05 PM
Rating Added: 4
My first two dives here were really awesome, but on a seperate occasion I came during a fishing tournament at Padre and the ships had been dragging their nets all day making the viz horrible.

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