Sinking ships for wreck diving sites

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Explosives detonating to sink HMNZS Wellington (F69) in 2005

Sinking ships for wreck diving sites is the practice of scuttling old ships to produce artificial reefs suitable for wreck diving, to benefit from commercial revenues from recreational diving of the shipwreck, or to produce a diver training site.

Preparation[edit]

To prepare a hulk for sinking as a wreck site, several things must be done to make it safe for the marine environment and divers. To protect the environment, the ship is purged of all oils, hydraulic fluids, and dangerous chemicals such as PCBs. Much of the superstructure is removed to prevent the hazard of it eventually caving in from corrosion. Similarly, the interior of the ship is gutted of all structures that corrode quickly, and would be dangerous to divers if they came loose. The ship is thoroughly cleaned, often with the help of volunteers interested in diving. A significant part of the cost of preparing and sinking the ship comes from scrapping the contents of the ship, including valuable materials such as copper wiring. The hulk's suitability as a diving site is enhanced by cutting openings in its hull and interior bulkheads to allow divers access.

Sinking[edit]

The preparation phase removes a significant amount of weight, so the ship sits higher in the water than normal. The ship must be carefully weighed down by filling some sections with water as makeshift ballast tanks to prevent excessive rolling in port or during towing. The ship is towed to the sinking location, usually in shallow waters. The ship is scuttled using dynamite, in a controlled demolition. The holes are blown so that the heavier engine room and stern floods first, then the rest of the hull. The aim is to sink the ship in an upright position.

List of ships sunk for wreck diving[edit]

Ships sunk for wreck diving
Year Vessel Name USCG Location Country/territory
2014 HTMS Kledkaeo (AKS-861) Phi Phi Islands Thailand
2013 Tug No. 2 Sliema Malta
2013 T11 Coastal Patrol Ship Ko Chang Thailand
2013 NRP Almeida Carvalho (A527) Algarve Portugal
2013 NRP Hermengildo Capelo (F481) Algarve Portugal
2012 USS Lincoln County (LST-898) Ko Chang Thailand
2012 NRP Zambeze (P1147) Algarve Portugal
2012 NRP Oliveira e Carmo (F489) Algarve Portugal
2012 HTMS Phetra (LCT-764) Ko Man Nok Thailand
2012 HTMS Mataphon (LCT-761) Ko Larn Thailand
2012 USCGC Mohawk (WPG-78) Lee County, Florida United States
2011 USS Arthur W. Radford (DD-968) Cape May, New Jersey United States
2011 HTMS Sattakut (LCI-742) Koh Tao Thailand
2011 HTMS Prab (LCI-741) Chumphon Thailand
2011 HMAS Adelaide (FFG 01) Avoca Beach, New South Wales Australia
2011 USS Kittiwake (ASR-13) West Bay, Grand Cayman Cayman Islands
2009 HMAS Canberra (FFG 02) Barwon Heads, Victoria Australia
2009 P31 patrol boat Comino Malta
2009 USNS General Hoyt S. Vandenberg (T-AGM-10)[1] Key West, Florida United States
2007 USS Cruise (AM-215) Delaware Bay United States
2007 HMNZS Canterbury (F421) Bay of Islands New Zealand
2007 USTS Texas Clipper South Padre Island, Texas United States
2007 P29 patrol boat[2] Ċirkewwa Malta
2006 MV Cominoland[2] Gozo Malta
2006 MV Karwela[2] Gozo Malta
2006 HTMS Kut (L-731) Pattaya Thailand
2006 USS Oriskany (CV-34) Florida United States
2006 Xihwu Boeing 737[3] British Columbia Canada
2005 HMNZS Wellington (F69) Wellington New Zealand
2005 HMAS Brisbane (D 41) Mooloolaba, Queensland Australia
2004 USCGC Spar (WLB-403) Morehead City, North Carolina United States
2004 HMS Scylla (F71) Whitsand Bay, Cornwall United Kingdom
2003 CS Charles L Brown [4] Sint Eustatius Leeward Islands
2003 HMCS Nipigon (DDH 266) Quebec Canada
2003 USS Leonard F. Mason (DD-852) Taiwan
2003 HTMS Khram (L-732) Ko Phai Thailand
2002 MV Dania[5] Mombasa Kenya
2002 USS Spiegel Grove (LSD-32)[6] Florida United States
2002 HMAS Hobart (D 39) Yankalilla Bay, South Australia Australia
2001 HMAS Perth (D 38)[7] Albany, Western Australia Australia
2001 HMCS Cape Breton (ARE 100)[3] British Columbia Canada
2001 USS Jubilant (AM-255) Veracruz Mexico
2000 HMNZS Waikato (F55) Tutukaka New Zealand
2000 USS Fort Marion (LSD-22) Taiwan
2000 HMCS Yukon (DDE 263)[3] San Diego, California United States
2000 Stanegarth Stoney Cove United Kingdom
1999 MV Imperial Eagle[8] Qawra Malta
1999 USS Scuffle (AM-298) Cozumel Mexico
1999 HMNZS Tui (1970) Tutukaka Heads New Zealand
1999 MV Xlendi[9] Gozo Malta
1998 MV Adolphus Busch Looe Key, Florida United States
1998 Um El Faroud[2] Qrendi Malta
1998 St. Michael Marsaskala Malta
1998 Tug No. 10 Marsaskala Malta
1997 HMCS Saskatchewan (DDE 262)[3] British Columbia Canada
1997 HMAS Swan (DE 50)[10] Dunsborough, Western Australia Australia
1996 HMCS Columbia (DDE 260)[3] British Columbia Canada
1996 MV Captain Keith Tibbetts (formerly Russian-built Frigate 356) Cayman Brac Cayman Islands
1996 Inganess Bay[11] British Virgin Islands
1995 HMCS Mackenzie (DDE 261)[3] British Columbia Canada
1995 MV Jean Escutia Puerto Morelos Mexico
1994 HMAS Derwent (DE 49) Rottnest Island Australia
1994 HMS Pelorus (J291) Miller's Point, Western Cape South Africa
1994 HMCS Saguenay (DDH 206) Nova Scotia Canada
1992 HMCS Chaudière (DDE 235)[3] British Columbia Canada
1992 USS Indra (ARL-37) North Carolina United States
1992 MV Rozi[2] Ċirkewwa Malta
1991 USS Algol (AKA-54) New Jersey United States
1991–2001 "Wreck Alley" – The Marie L, The Pat and The Beata[12] British Virgin Islands
1991 MV G.B. Church[3] British Columbia Canada
1990 Fontao Durban South Africa
1990 USCG Hollyhock Florida United States
1990 T-Barge Durban South Africa
1990 USS Chippewa (AT-69) Destin, Florida United States
1990 USS Yancey (AKA-93) Morehead City, North Carolina United States
1989 YO-257 Oahu, Hawaii United States
1989 USS Blenny (SS-324) Ocean City, Maryland United States
1989 USS Muliphen (AKA-61) Port St. Lucie, Florida United States
1988 USS Aeolus (ARC-3) North Carolina United States
1988 USS Rankin (AKA-103) Stuart, Florida United States
1988 USCGC Unimak (WAVP-379) Virginia United States
1988 USS Vermilion (AKA-107) Myrtle Beach, South Carolina United States
1987–2000 Wreck Alley San Diego, California United States
1987 USCGC Bibb (WPG-31)[13] Florida United States
1987 USCGC Duane (WPG-33)[13] Florida United States
1987 Rainbow Warrior[14] Matauri Bay New Zealand
1987 USS Strength (AM-309) Panama City, Florida United States
1987 USS Accokeek (ATA-181) Gulf of Mexico United States
1985 Eagle Florida United States
1983 USS Curb (ARS-21) Key West, Florida United States
1982 USS Scrimmage (AM-297) Waianae, Hawaii United States
1980 USS Mindanao (ARG-3) Daytona Beach, Florida United States
1980 USS Harlequin (C-58) Isla Mujeres Mexico
1980 Oro Verde[15] Cayman Islands
1978 USS Dionysus (AR-21) North Carolina United States
1975 USS Mona Island (ARG-9) Wachapreague, Virginia United States
1974 SS Theodore Parker North Carolina United States
1972 USS Fred T. Berry (DD-858) Key West, Florida United States
1970 USS Mohawk (YT-17) Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina United States
1970 Glen Strathallen Plymouth Sound United Kingdom
1968 USS Mizpah (PY-29) Palm Beach, Florida United States

Planned sites[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Vandenberg sinking this morning". MSNBC. Associated Press. 2009-05-27. Retrieved 2009-05-28. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Diving the wrecks off Malta and Gozo's Coastline.". Paradise Diving Malta. Retrieved 2012-09-04. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "ARSBC". Artificial Reef Society of British Columbia. Retrieved 2010-08-20. 
  4. ^ "Charlie Brown Artificial Reef". Golden Rock Dive Center. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  5. ^ "5 Star PADI IDC Centre, Kenya, Zanzibar". Buccaneer Diving. Retrieved 2010-08-20. 
  6. ^ "The ''Spiegel Grove'' is believed to be the largest ever wreck deliberately sunk as a diving site". Fla-keys.com. Retrieved 2010-08-20. 
  7. ^ "HMAS Perth (II) - Royal Australian Navy". Navy.gov.au. Retrieved 2010-08-20. 
  8. ^ "MV Imperial Eagle & Kristu l-Bahhar". Subway Dive Centre. Retrieved 2012-09-04. 
  9. ^ "Top wrecks of Malta & Gozo". John Liddiard. Retrieved 2012-09-04. 
  10. ^ "HMAS Swan (III) - Royal Australian Navy". Navy.gov.au. Retrieved 2010-08-20. 
  11. ^ "BVI Dive Site: Wreck of the Inganess Bay". Bvidiving.com. Retrieved 2010-08-20. 
  12. ^ "Cooper Island". Dive BVI. Retrieved 2010-08-20. 
  13. ^ a b Williams, Chris; Bowen, Linda (2008). "Wrecks of the Duane and Bibb". Advanced Diver Magazine Ezine (1, reprinted from ADM issue 4): 62–72. Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  14. ^ The Bombing of the Rainbow Warrior
  15. ^ "The Cayman Islands Shipwreck Expo Directory Capt. Dan Berg's Guide to Shipwrecks information". Aquaexplorers.com. Retrieved 2010-08-20. 
  16. ^ "Announcing, Annapolis!". Artificialreef.bc.ca. Retrieved 2010-08-20. [dead link]