With years of legal issues finally resolved, the Artificial Reef Society of British Columbia placed the ex-Canadian Navy destroyer Annapolis on the bottom of Halkett Bay Marine Bay Park in Howe Sound.
This sinking is the eighth artificial reef placed in British Columbia. Last minute legal efforts by the Save Halkett Bay Marine Park Society threatened to halt the sinking of the warship, based on the belief that there were still toxic materials on board. A review by the courts found that the sink permit issued by Environment Canada was valid and in compliance with international guidelines regarding the cleaning of vessels for placement as artificial reefs.
The ship’s sinking drew large crowds to the sink site, as well as international viewers of the event via the internet. The well-placed sink charges did their job and just before 1:30 p.m. Pacific coast time, the vessel plunged to her final port of call at the bottom of the bay just off Gambier Island.
In the past, the Artificial Reef Society of British Columbia has placed at least six other artificial reef structures including several other Canadian Navy vessels – HMCS Chaudiere, HMCS Mackenzie, HMCS Columbia, Saskatchewan, HMCS Cape Breton, the Motor Vessel G.B. Church and a Boeing 737 aircraft. The structure and hard surface these vessels provide have become havens for sea life and provide exciting diving for local and visiting divers and generating not just ecological and educational benefits but financial revenue to nearby communities.
Congratulations to Artificial Reef Society of British Columbia and the hundreds of volunteers who brought this project to a successful completion.
(We had a story on the sinking of this ship last year – click here for more background information on the Annapolis).
Special thanks to Patrick Smith for following the progress of the Annapolis sinking and contributing the story above.