Shaila’s Weblog

Posts Tagged ‘florida

HOUSTON: A decommissioned Navy warship USNS General Hoyt S Vandenberg has been intentionally sunk off the Florida Keys to create the world’s second largest artificial reef which will serve as a long-term habitat for several marine fish species.

The 17,250-tonne ship USNS Vandenberg sank in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary on Wednesday in less than two minutes, said Andy Newman, spokesman for the Florida Keys Tourism Council.

“It went down like a rock,” Newman was quoted as saying by CNN. “Everything looked very, very smooth.”

The goal of the $8.6 million project is to divert fishing and diving pressure away from natural reefs, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The Vandenberg was built in 1943. It was commissioned as a World War II troop transport ship. After Japan surrendered, the Vandenberg was the first Navy ship to return to New York Harbour.

During the 1950s, the ship was used to transport refugees from Europe and Australia to America. In the 1960s the Air Force used the Vandenberg to track missiles. It also was used to track rockets and early space shuttle launches.

The ship, which was decommissioned in 1986, featured in the 1999 movie Virus, starring Donald Sutherland and Jamie Lee Curtis.

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The 21 polo ponies that died Sunday in Wellington were all injected before the game with a government-banned vitamin supplement called Biodyl — and team members believe a tainted dose caused their deaths, the team’s captain said.

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Juan Martin Nero, captain of the Lechuza Caracas polo team, told La Nacion newspaper of Buenos Aires that all of the horses had received Biodyl injections before the game.

”We don’t have any doubts about the origin of the problem,” Nero said. “There were five horses that weren’t given the vitamin, and they are the only ones that are fine.”

Biodyl, a French-made supplement, is banned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and its sale or use in the United States is illegal, an FDA spokeswoman said.

Biodyl contains vitamin B-12, selenium, potassium asparate and magnesium asparate. Last year, a shipment imported into the United States was rejected by FDA officials because it was deemed ”a new animal drug which is unsafe,” FDA records show.

polohorse

As the investigation into the horses’ deaths continues, speculation is surrounding the team’s Argentine veterinarian.

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Felix Crespo, a former competitive polo player, was in charge of the horses’ health, and he would have been the one to oversee their diet and any supplements or injections they may have received, people familiar with the team say.

A call to Crespo’s cellphone in Argentina was answered by his daughter, who said he was still in Palm Beach County.


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