Sinking ships, creating reefs
Sinking ships, creating reefs
Captain Tim Mullane sinks boats for a living.
Owner(s): Captain Tim Mullane
Location: Norfolk, Va. and Philadelphia, PA

Tim Mullane is co-partner with Patrick Pawliczek in American Marine Group, a company that sinks boats to create artificial reefs.

The company -- which was started in 2008 and employs 20 people -- acquires the boats from Government Liquidation. The company sinks nine boats a year from the Northeastern U.S. coast down to the Caribbean. It makes $2 million in revenue a year.

The vessels are towed to the site and recently the company even acquired a military surplus tugboat to bring concrete and tons of other surplus materials to aid in the sinking. Boats are cleaned, appropriate holes are cut to aid both in the sinking and down they go.

Some companies fly banners and hold parties for a boat's sinking. Mullane frowns on that approach, but he does engage in one ritual as one of his boats goes down. "I find myself humming a Pink Floyd song, 'Goodbye cruel world. I'm leaving you today.' "

He also thinks of the generations of fathers and sons who once worked on the decks of the boats he is about to consign to the deep. "We are giving the ship another 50 years of useful life," he said. "I'd like to think the men who worked her would approve."


By Kitt Walsh, contributing writer @CNNMoney - Last updated March 15 2012: 4:26 PM ET
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