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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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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