WESTORE (designate) Z58
Originally built at the Brunswick Marine Shipyard, Georgia, USA, for the U.S. Army, she was intended to be delivered to the RCN along with her 2 sisters, Laymore and Eastore. She was designated pendant number Z58 and call sign CGGD in anticipation of her joining the fleet. It appears that her order was cancelled late in her construction. As a result Westore (designate) was retained by the US Army as FS 553 where she served until 1964 before being sold.
The bare bones of the life of FS 553 beyond 1964 can be tracked using her IMO number 6511398. She was first bought by the Caribbean Shipping Company in 1964 and re-christened as Sonic II. A mere two years later she was sold to the Florida-Panama Lines, becoming Tauros, where she seems to have remained until 1979 when she was again sold to an organization called Yankee Endeavor(?). There she was rebuilt and renamed Taurus, evidently retained for twenty-one years, in what role I do not know, before changing hands once again in 1998 at 53 years of age. She promptly reappeared with a new name, Apemagu, and flying the Honduran flag. This turned out to be a fatal move.
FS 553 had no sooner become Apemagu when a Reuters report of 19 Aug. 1998 records that: "On Aug. 7, (customs) agents found 1,100 pounds of cocaine on the Honduran freighter Apemagu at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba." She was evidently confiscated, put on the block and sold for the final time to Florida Sportsman magazine founder and editor Karl Wickstrom and the Martin County Anglers Club for the purpose of creating an artificial reef. On Jan.21, 2003, Westore (designate), now renamed Wickstrom Reef, took her final voyage to the bottom of the sea as a haven for marine life. (research by Capt J.G.R. Hutcheson, RCN (ret'd))
The Three Sisters - Eastore, Laymore and Westore by Capt. J.G.R. (Rod) Hutcheson, RCN (ret'd)
In memory of those who have crossed the bar
They shall not be forgotten