The M/V Twin Capes, a ferry christened 43 years ago on the Delaware Bay and retired after runs between Cape Henlopen, Delaware, and Cape May, New Jersey, was sunk June 15 to become part of Delaware’s acclaimed artificial reef system.
Twin Capes, whose sinking will expand and enhance fish habitat and offer extraordinary opportunities for deep-sea diving, went down at 11:55 a.m. June 15 on the Del-Jersey-Land Inshore Artificial Reef — named because it lies equidistant from Lewes, Cape May, and Ocean City, Maryland.
The Twin Capes’ sinking was carried out by Norfolk, Virginia,-based marine contractor Coleen Marine, which bought the ferry from the Delaware River and Bay Authority in 2017 for reefing. Twin Capes joined the Del-Jersey-Land reef’s submerged fleet that includes the ex-destroyer USS Arthur W. Radford, which went down in 2011, and the Zuni/Tamaroa, the one-time harbor tug and Battle of Iwo Jima survivor turned U.S. Coast Guard cutter that plied Atlantic waters for almost 50 years.
Twin Cape, the 2,100-ton ferry, was one of the original three vessels of the DRBA’s 1970s fleet. Twin Capes during the 1990s was retrofitted with a new superstructure and four new decks, lounges, a new pilot house and “shark-fin” smokestacks. These features lend to the creation of enhanced fish habitat, while for dive trips, Twin Capes’ 70-foot vertical profile will attract tunas, sharks and, seasonally, even barracudas.