Author Topic: Clamagore to become a reef  (Read 19705 times)

Offline Lance Dean

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Clamagore to become a reef
« on: November 02, 2013, 04:35:19 PM »
http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20131101/PC05/131109858/1010/

Looks like she will become a reef at best or sold for scrap at worst.  Sad.

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The USS Clamagore is nearing the end of its rope at Patriots Point.

The Patriots Point Development Authority plans to hand over the rusting submarine to Reefmakers, a Florida-based organization that specializes in sinking vessels to create artificial reefs.

The Clamagore could be out of Charleston Harbor as soon as next month, said Mac Burdette, executive director of Patriots Point.

Once Reefmakers finds a destination, the sub will be taken from the state-owned tourist attraction and remediated to ensure it won’t harm the environment.

The Clamagore Veterans Association has tried for two years to keep the sub its members served on from heading to the ocean floor, but they couldn’t raise the estimated $4 million.

The 400-member group also was unable to find a municipality or organization to adopt the vessel and fund its upkeep, which would cost at least $250,000 annually, said Bob Dewar, president.

The Patriots Point Development Authority extended the deadline several times to give the association more time to raise money. The agency also helped locate donors, Dewar said.

“Patriots Point, as far as the administration, has gone way above and beyond the call of duty. Previous boards ignored her, and that’s how she got in such bad shape,” Dewar said. “It just comes a time when you have to ask what’s going to be the best thing not just for Patriots Point but for the boat. Submerged, (the sub) is going to last a lot longer.”

A separate group of sub veterans, The Clamagore Restoration and Maintenance Association, also took up the cause. It said it’s not willing to let the sub go down without a fight.

“We’re submarine sailors, we don’t give up. That’s our history,” said spokesman Rick Wise. “When we give up, then we’re usually on the bottom for good.”

The group’s immediate goal is to find a place to keep the sub while they seek to raise restoration money. Wise said he is not convinced that the project would be as expensive as Patriots Point has estimated.

“I agree that it’s going to cost a bit to do it, but whether it’s going to be that much or not, that’s just a number,” he said.

Patriots Point commissioned an independent marine engineer to conduct the assessment.

The state agency can’t afford another expensive vessel repair. It still has to repay a majority of the $9.2 million it borrowed from the state to patch the Laffey warship. The aircraft carrier Yorktown is also deteriorating, and that fix could cost up to $100 million.

“If we had $4 million available, we would choose under our priorities to put it into The Yorktown. It’s not a matter of heart, it’s a matter of business,” Burdette said.

Fundraising experts told Dewar that it would take his group up to five years to raise the money it needed. Meanwhile, Burdette noted that the marine engineer’s report determined the vessel couldn’t withstand a hurricane.

“We’ve given them almost two years to raise the money to restore the Clamagore,” Burdette said. “It’s not been possible and we are not going to take the chance of the Clamagore going through another hurricane season as fragile as she is. It could end up in catastrophic results.”

Burdette said the state agency will work with the Clamagore Veterans Association to create a landside memorial at Patriots Point to honor the sub and its crew.

Wise said his group fears the fate of the submarine if it’s turned over to Reefmakers.

“If it becomes too expensive for them to make it environmentally neutral, then they will sell it as scrap. That’s probably what will happen to it,” he said.

Joe Weatherby with Reefmakers disagreed.

“We save (vessels) from the scrappers,” he said. “Our proposition is to find them a good home,” he said. “We’re all about the dignity of the ships and the veterans who served on them.”

Weatherby said turning the Clamagore into a reef will cost millions of dollars, but that he’s already seen interest from communities who would be willing to cover the cost.

Reach Abigail Darlington at 937-5906 and follow her on Twitter @A_Big_Gail
« Last Edit: November 02, 2013, 05:12:29 PM by Lance Dean »

Offline Jim

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Re: Clamagore to become a reef
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2013, 10:24:18 AM »
I was affraid that this would be the outcome.  This is a call to ALL COB's to contact the artificial reef company and see if they will give us a week or so to strip the parts out of her to keep the rest of the "fleet" in spares.  A stream of u-hauls should be headed her way ......

Offline Fred Tannenbaum

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Re: Clamagore to become a reef
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2013, 12:47:57 PM »
I'm afraid Clamagore's ship (and fate) has figuratively sailed long ago.

Offline Lance Dean

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Re: Clamagore to become a reef
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2013, 05:40:35 PM »
I was affraid that this would be the outcome.  This is a call to ALL COB's to contact the artificial reef company and see if they will give us a week or so to strip the parts out of her to keep the rest of the "fleet" in spares.  A stream of u-hauls should be headed her way ......

From what I've heard (unofficially) no stripping, at least not for free. Maybe they will come forward with an official word on it soon. What a waste it will be if they don't allow for other museums to get what they need.

Offline Jim

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Re: Clamagore to become a reef
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2013, 02:28:49 PM »
That truely sucks. >:(  Pay for museum pieces or else we'll put them on the bottom of the ocean.  :knuppel2:  We need Paul to go down there and smack some sense into someone.  :buck2:

Offline Paul Farace

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This topic is under discussion..
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2013, 03:32:20 PM »
Like a lost human life, the CLAM can provide needed parts to help others live... there are official overtures being made on this very topic. Let's hold our talk until we hear something offical. What we don't want to happen, beyond reefing valuable parts, is for a long line of U-hauls showing up without clearance or legitimate need. Souvenir hunters work faster than legit museum staffs!   :tickedoff:

Johnny Cash's third cousin, twice removed

Offline Jim

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Re: Clamagore to become a reef
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2013, 05:29:38 PM »
The U-hauls was tongue in cheek, Paul, but having you go down and smack someone over this is on the up and up. ;D

Offline nomad66

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Re: Clamagore to become a reef
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2013, 10:55:08 AM »
I'm very sorry to hear of the Clam's fate. I'm just glad that I had the chance to tour her back in 2009.

Offline Jim

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Re: Clamagore to become a reef
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2013, 05:52:00 PM »
So Paul, what's the latest? can we go a salvagin yet?  :-\

Offline Lance Dean

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Re: Clamagore to become a reef
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2013, 06:40:19 PM »

Offline Jim

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Re: Clamagore to become a reef
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2013, 11:09:03 AM »
Too little too late. 240 supporters and in need of a spell check.  :-[ 

Offline Jim

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Re: Clamagore to become a reef
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2014, 01:09:15 AM »
Any new news? Paul?

Offline Lance Dean

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Re: Clamagore to become a reef
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2014, 12:09:49 AM »
Well, Sid Busch posted this on his Facebook page 2/7/2014:

"Even though I was fired as a VOLUNTEER at Patriots Point,the editor of the Patriots Point newsletter asked me to write the obituary for the USS CLAMAGORE.
I am sad to report the demise of the USS CLAMAGORE SS 343,she was lost to us at Patriots Point in Charleston SC.
The Clamagore came to life on 28 June 1945 and retired after serving this country for 30 years on 27 June 1975, she was the last FRAM 3 GUPPY in the world,having outlived her 8 sister ships.
During her 30 years of service,she took part in many operations in defense of the country,steaming thousands of miles on her 4 deisel engines and while submerged on her 4 batteries.
After her active career was over,she took on a new job,educating the public as to what life was like serving on a conventional submarine. Unlike the movies,she showed off how cramped she was,and how much equipment could be packed into her.
I was lucky to be able to give tours of her,and to see the looks of amazement in the eyes of the visitors as they got their first look at a realy Submarine.
Its hard to explain to people how one can get attached to a 330 foot long metal tube,but she had a personnality,to those of us who served on her,she was alive. Losing her is a hard thing to accept,and hurts like having to put a faithful pet to sleep.
Her final career will be as a reef,she will return to the underwater world she was designed to operate in.
All of us who served on you will miss you,and remember you with fond memories.
Rest your oars old girl,you did good."

Offline Jim

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Re: Clamagore to become a reef
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2014, 10:21:33 PM »
Well, I hope some COB's or curators are watching this closely so all of the internal valuable and irreplaceable parts will be salvaged for other museum boats and not sent to the bottom of the ocean.  Rick, call to station for parts for the Batfish!!

Offline Fred Tannenbaum

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Re: Clamagore to become a reef
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2014, 07:56:38 PM »
I'd like to know what this guy did to get fired from a volunteer gig ...