European ship now Treasure Coast artificial reef - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

European ship now Treasure Coast artificial reef

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Story Video: Click here

When Petra Heinrich was two years old, this ship was built.

Her father was owner, and captain of the Petra Gunda, named after Petra and her sister.

The ship was a huge part of Petra's life.  She took many trips on board.  When she was 22, the ship was sold.

A few years ago, she got a phone call.

"My nephew said 'Hey there's a video on YouTube.  You should have a look," said Heinrich.

The video was from 2014.  Off the Martin County coastline, a ship that Petra recognized, was being sunk.

"I saw it and had tears in my eyes and cried like hell.  Then I thought what a nice idea to have her down there as a home for fish," said Heinrich.

The MCAC Reef fund had raised the $170,000 to clean up the ship and save it from the scrap heap.  It was renamed the Haley Glasrud, after Ted and Lynn Glasrud's granddaughter, and destined to begin a new life as a fish hotel.

"A lot of the fish here are migratory.  So not only the small bait fish, the dolphin, the mahi-mahi, the sailfish," said Dave Powell with the MCAC Reef Fund.

The Reef Fund and the Glasrud's are hosting Petra Heinrich and her husband, so she can get a closer look at the ship she once knew so well.

"I think she's done a good job 50 years over the water.  Now she's doing a good job under the water line," said Heinrich.

The group will head out Sunday using sonar technology to see how the vessel looks. 

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