Published: Apr 09, 2011 9:48 PM EDT
Updated: Apr 09, 2011 6:58 PM EDT

KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) - A schooner believed to be the world's only surviving sailing cable ship is back in the water in Key West following a $1.25 million dollar restoration.
 
Full refurbishment of the 72-year-old, 130-foot Western Union took more than three years to complete. It was spearheaded by a local organization formed to preserve the vessel and keep it home-ported in Key West, where it was originally assembled.
 
A ceremony Saturday heralded the completion of the project.
 
Launched in 1939, the vessel served the Western Union Telegraph Company for 35 years. The vessel now carries visitors on day sails, sunset cruises and charters.

(Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)