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Canadian Navy Destroyer Might Be Sunk Off Mission Beach As Artificial Reef

Credit: Texas Parks And Wildlife

Four divers make scientific observations on an artificial reef off the coast of Texas.

A proposal to sink a 366-foot decommissioned CanadianNavy destroyer off Mission Beach this fall is scheduled to be taken up Wednesday by a City Council committee.

The HMCS Annapolis would become the second ex-Canadian vessel at the San Diego Underwater Recreation Area, which is popular with diving enthusiasts. The HMCS Yukon was sunk in July 2000.

The proposal before the Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods would get the ball rolling on environmental reviews, with the aim of sinking the ship in September or October.

The Annapolis is being held under court receivership in Canada because of a default by its owner, according to a city staff report. An organization called California Ships to Reefs is working to acquire the vessel and tow it to the waters off San Diego.

The staff report says the ship would be inspected by Canadian and U.S.authorities before it's towed, and would then go into a dry dock for hull cleaning and removal of any remaining paint.

The ship would be sunk with explosives. It would be inspected for safety before being opened to the public for diving, according to the report.

A handful of divers have died in scuba accidents at or around the Yukon site, and several others have had to be rescued.

Comments

Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | February 25, 2014 at 10:56 p.m. ― 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I hope the council has enough sense to consult marine biologists and ocean environmental experts before making their decision.

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Avatar for user 'milbournosphere'

milbournosphere | February 26, 2014 at 8:24 a.m. ― 9 months, 3 weeks ago

"A handful of divers have died in scuba accidents at or around the Yukon site, and several others have had to be rescued."

It's worth noting that the Yukon is a potentially dangerous wreck because of an incident that occured prior to its sinking. From divebums.com, a local repository of information on San Diego's dive sites:

"Once the Yukon arrived in San Diego, many volunteers spent countless hours cleaning and preparing the ship for sinking. Finally, everything was in place for the Yukon to be sunk on Saturday, July 15, 2000, amidst much fanfare. She was towed out to her sinking site on July 13th, after which she began taking on more water than the one pump on board could handle. Some of the pre-cut outer hull holes were too close to the waterline for the swell that was coming in that evening. Shortly after midnight, the Yukon sunk—on her own terms. Instead of landing upright, she landed on her port side.

Because the Yukon sank herself and is now on her port side, she is a much more challenging wreck than intended. None of the entry/exit holes below the waterline were blown out, so many of the planned holes simply do not exist. Also, some of the port side holes are now buried in the sand. Some people find the sideways wreck disorienting, some do not. PLEASE DIVE THE YUKON WITHIN THE LIMITS OF YOUR EXPERIENCE."

The wreck is dangerous because folks dive beyond their abilities and penetrate the wreck, or underestimate the significance of surge/currents. With proper planning and skill, the Yukon is a very fun wreck to dive. Hopefully lessons were learned and will result in a safe and as-planned sinking of the Annapolis, should the measure be approved. A properly cleaned ship would be a great attraction to divers and provide a wonderful artificial structure for marine life.

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Avatar for user 'thompsonrichard'

thompsonrichard | February 26, 2014 at 9:01 a.m. ― 9 months, 3 weeks ago

And if the Canadian hockey team beats us again, we'll sink another one of their destroyers!!!

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