Sinking of the Voici Bernadette

Learn about the Voici Bernadette

Several of us here at SDI HQ had the opportunity to participate with a very unique project over the last few months. Last September we were able to do a walkthrough tour of the Voici Bernadette a German built cargo vessel. This vessel had been compensated not once but twice while engaged in drug smuggling activities by US Customs and Border Protection. 

The vessel has now been donated to St Lucie County for deployment as an addition to the county’s artificial reef program. We were graciously allowed access to the Bernadette again earlier this spring, to film for an episode of our On Location video series. 

On Location, Part 1 

Watch the sinking from onboard the ship and the recovery of the videos.

Special thanks to James Oppenborn, St Lucie County’s Coastal Resources Coordinator, for his oversight of the project and allowing us to help share the story. As an anticipated summer sinking of the vessel neared, we discussed producing a follow-up episode which would cover the Bernadette’s deployment. We also volunteered to provide, mount and retrieve cameras from the vessel to help capture the sinking

On Location, Part 2 

With a lot of involvement from various groups/agencies including MMPS Environmental, McCulley Marine Services, Coastal Conservation Association of Florida, and many others, the Bernadette made her final voyage to sea on Jun 23. She now sits in about 100’ of water, roughly due east of the St Lucie Nuclear Power Plant in Jensen Beach, FL. 

The Bernadette will serve as the Treasure Coast’s newest artificial reef wreck, providing habitat for marine life and help contribute to the local economy in industries such as tourism, fishing, and diving. We were honored to be part of this project and look forward to collaboration on future projects with all involved. 

Voici Bernadette Vessel Cams capturing the sinking of the ship 

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