Pensacola-Bound USS Oriskany Departs Texas

The retired aircraft carrier USS Oriskany has left Corpus Cristi, Texas for the Florida Panhandle on a path that will make it an artificial reef.

The 888-foot-long carrier would be the largest vessel purposely sunk as a reef.

Officials hope the carrier can be scuttled before June 1 to avoid any problems with hurricane season.

Officials with the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation say the ship is expected to arrive in Pensacola by next Monday.

The carrier's wooden flight deck was removed in Texas. It had about 700 pounds of an industrial compound known to cause cancer in animals.

The ship will remain at Pensacola's port while final preparations are made for its sinking about 25 miles off Pensacola.