After six years of preparation – marred by court challenges from environmental groups – a former Canadian Navy destroyer will finally be sunk off Gambier Island tomorrow to make an artificial reef.
Howard Robins with the Artificial Reef Society of B.C says the HMCS Annapolis will be sunk sometime before noon.
“You don’t often see a ship sinking, it’s sort of a once in a lifetime event for us we’ve seen and done many of these in the past, and we are recognized for this throughout Canada and the world. It is quite a spectacular site to see a 366-foot ship be re-used and re-purposed as a long term stable marine habitat.”
It’s expected to be an eco-attraction for scuba divers, from here and abroad.
“Thinking a ship is an artificial reef is a major economic draw for eco-adventure scuba-dive tourism there is no question about it. Annapolis will provide an interesting physical reef on the sea floor. It will be considered a shallow wreck, designed for novice, intermediate and advanced divers, those who are trained to go inside a ship wreck.”
The Save Halkett Bay Marine Park Society vigorously protested against the ships sinking, claiming toxic paint would jeopardize the local marine environment.
A federal court judge ruled all safety and environmental standards were followed, and the ship is safe to sink.