History of St. George

The M.V. Norbrae was built in 1962 by the Ardossan Dockyard LTD located near Strathclyde, Scotland. Owned by Coast Lines Service LTD and sailing under the British flag, she served as a cargo ship transporting wheat and barley from Norway during the 1970's. The ship's original name was M.V. Norbrae. A possible translation is The Norwegian Hillside.

Because of many mechanical problems M.V. Norbrae possessed, the cargo ship was abandoned in 1991 in the Santa Domingo harbor. It stayed there for years unattended.

On September 22, 1998 the devastating Hurricane George crashed into Santo Domingo and surrounding Caribbean areas causing severe damage. The M.V. Norbrae suffered extreme impairment as the cyclone smashed into the ship. Many of the ship's floorboards were broken and destroyed. After Hurricane George subsided, the abandoned ship had attracted more attention in harbor because of its unsightliness. Subsequently, many people began to complain about the "big, ugly boat" in the harbor, and the locals christened M.V. Norbrae, St. George.

In January of 1999, admiral Victor Garcia Alecon, Commander-in Chief of the Dominican Republic Navy contacted the management of Club Viva Domincus to negotiate the sale of the St. George.

On June 12, 1999, the St. George was deliberately by Club Viva Domincus in cooperation and with supervision of the Dominican Republic Navy to become an artificial reef.

Today, less than a year after the ship has been submerged, the artificial reef is home to a variety of marine life such as tropical fish, lobsters, and even barracudas who have found refuge amongst the ship's structure. The St. George has become a highlighted tourist attraction to guests of Club Viva Domincus who come to the Dominican Republic to enjoy the marine diversity abundant of the Caribbean.

Back to Underwater Science Program
Last updated April 27, 2003
Questions or Comments: Underwater Science Program
Copyright 1996-2003, The Trustees of Indiana University