Argus Island

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Argus Island Tower

Argus Island was a United States Navy research tower and platform located on Plantagenet Bank off the island of Bermuda. The tower was four-legged with a two-story platform for crew quarters, instrumentation and support services. The tower had fuel storage, crane and a helicopter pad. The design was intended to withstand a wave height of 70 feet (21.3 m),[1] but in its early years the tower was damaged by waves approaching the design height.[2] Typical minimum staffing by contract personnel was eight persons, including electronic technicians, mechanics and housekeeping staff.[2]

The prefabricated tower was designed, built and installed in 1960 by J. Ray McDermott & Company of New Orleans to support Project Artemis, an acoustic research program,[3] and was part of the SOSUS submarine-detecting system that included Naval Facility Bermuda.[4] In July 1966 the program was transferred to the Manager, Antisubmarine Warfare Project Office and technical responsibility transferred to the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL).[5] The research program was suspended on 30 June 1970 with occasional daytime inspections and maintenance work by NRL personnel.[2] On 13 May 1976 the tower was toppled by demolition charges, and on 12 June a Notice to Mariners noted it as an obstruction covered by 16 fathoms (29.3 m).


  1. ^ Flato 1976, p. 1.
  2. ^ a b c Flato 1976, p. 2.
  3. ^ Flato 1976, pp. 1, 3.
  4. ^ McGovern 2018, pp. 54–55.
  5. ^ Flato 1976, p. 4.


  • Flato, Matthew (1976). Argus Island Tower 1960 to 1976. Washington: Naval Research Laboratory. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  • McGovern, Terrance; Harris, Edward (2018). Defenses of Bermuda 1612–1995 (Fortress 112). New York: Osprey Publishing c/o Bloomsbury Publishing.