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Decommissioned Coast Guard ship set for reopening

AP Wire • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:39 PM

A Friday ceremony planned at the 180-foot Bramble at Seaway Terminal Bean Dock will be the first public viewing of the vessel since it was sold in January to Robert Klingler of Marine City.

The Memorial Day weekend ceremony will consist of a short, military-style ceremony with an American Legion color guard, rifle detail and a trumpeter.

Volunteer Michael Murray said the ship will be reopened to allow public access until the Bramble's hull is inspected. If the Bramble passes hull inspection, Klingler plans to finish restoration work to return the ship to operation.

Admission fees haven't been determined.

The Bramble was one of the first U.S. ships to circle North America. From 1998 to 2003, it operated in the Great Lakes tending buoys, conducting search and rescue and ice-breaking. The ship was decommissioned in 2003, donated to the museum and open for guided tours and sleepovers.

"It was like a campout, except it floated," Murray said.

The museum has said it sold the Bramble for slightly less than $200,000. It cost $80,000 a year to staff and maintain the ship, more than the money collected from visitors.

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