Ship sunk for artificial reef program

The Austin was originally used as a shrimp boat that fished the Gulf of Mexico from Florida to Campeche, Mexico.

The Austin was originally used as a shrimp boat that fished the Gulf of Mexico from Florida to Campeche, Mexico. (9/21/16)

POINT PLEASANT - Officials sank a ship off Point Pleasant Wednesday to augment an artificial reef project there and honor a Jersey Shore fisherman.

The Austin was originally used as a shrimp boat that fished the Gulf of Mexico from Florida to Campeche, Mexico. It's the fourth deployment in the expanding New Jersey Artificial Reef Program.

The project is also in honor of John Grady III, who officials say was an enthusiastic angler and had a love of the sea. He died nine years ago.

Officials sent the AustinĀ under about 2 miles off the coast of New Jersey to help fishing and wildlife preservation in the Axel Carlson Reef.

As it went under water, boats in the area celebrated by sounding their horns.

Part of the reason for the artificial reef program is to boost the local economy.

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