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Ship Sank For Reef Ripped Up By Irene

CAPE MAY, N.J. (AP) -- No one's complaining about another casualty from Hurricane Irene.

Divers told The Philadelphia Inquirer the hurricane ripped apart the USS Arthur W. Radford, the warship that officials sank off the coast of New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland to become an artificial reef.

The damage may enhance the ship's value, especially to divers.

The destroyer, used in the Persian Gulf War 20 years ago, is now part of the Deljerseyland reef that's managed by the three states. It was sunk Aug. 10 about 29 miles from Cape May Point and Ocean City, Md. It's 29 miles from River Inlet in Delaware. At 564 feet long, it is also the biggest vessel to be turned into an artificial reef in the area.

The hurricane passed over it less than three weeks after its sinking.

"The large main section, from the bridge to the stern, is still upright and actually moved about 200 feet," said Ted Green of Salisbury, Md., a diver and charter-boat captain. "What's also remarkable is that it didn't tip over."

Green says the battering will make the ship even more attractive to divers because they'll be able to explore all the deck levels.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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