The USS Oriskany (CV-34) was one of the final Essex Class aircraft carriers completed after the conclusion of WWII. She operated primarily in the Pacific into the 1970s, earning two battle stars for service in the Korean War, and five for service in the Vietnam War. After being decommissioned in 1976 it was decided to sink her as an artificial reef off the coast of Florida in the Gulf of Mexico.
Resolve Marine Group was awarded the contract to prepare and tow the aircraft carrier towed the vessel from Beaumont, Texas to Corpus Christi, Texas. The USS Oriskany was completely remediated in accordance with the US Navy Statement of Work and was prepared again for tow, this time from Corpus Christi, Texas to Pensacola, Florida. In addition to providing safeguarding and security for the vessel, Resolve assisted the Navy with the sink plan. Resolve prepared heavy weather plans and set hurricane mooring conditions for the vessel. They designed the four point mooring system to be set at the sink site and ultimately implemented the sink plan.
The work crew consisted of 150+ employees to accomplish the remediation of this vessel. 512 tanks and voids were cleaned and vessel stability was maintained by ballasting tanks and voids as required. All liquid PCBs and designated solid PCBs were removed from the vessel as well as all floatables, hydrocarbons, exfoliating paint, etc. in accordance with Best Management Practices. As a result of Resolve’s efforts, the aircraft carrier was prepared in accordance with Navy specifications for sinking as an artificial reef. Resolve worked closely with a number of government agencies to coordinate the remediation and approval of sinking plan including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), United States Navy, United States Coast Guard and the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Once approved, the sink plan was successfully executed leaving the ex-USS Oriskany resting in 212 feet of water sitting on her keel.
Video to sinking on Vimeo