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Possible new dive site for Canberra

Aformer navy frigate Canberra was deliberatelysunk as a diving wreck near Ocean Grove (Australia) yesterday.

Apparently,after some weeks of postponements, the frigate’s fate arrived another fourhours late yesterday after bad weather slowed down the operation on Saturdaynight and problems occurred while attempting to maneuver the ship into position,some two nautical miles from Ocean Grove.

Toavoid the ship from breaking up on the sea floor, it was sunk facing intoprevailing waves by 16 explosions that tore through it.  Victoria’sdivers lobbied the Rudd and Howard governments for three years and managed towin the 138-metre, 4100-tonne former guided-missile frigate over other statesvying to sink the ship in their waters as an international drawcard for divers.  A dive instructor from Mornington, Rob Morley,said the coup would translate into millions of dollars for Victoria’s dive industry, which haddifficulty competing with the warmer waters of northern states.

Accordingto newsreports t has taken more than a year to prepare the Canberra for her final voyage. The friget wasdecommissioned in 2005 and had to be stripped of all military equipment andengines, and all environmentally hazardous materials. About 25,000 kilometresof wiring was removed and the ship’s many compartments had second exits cutinto them to reduce the risk of divers becoming trapped.  In coming weeks after safety has beenpronounced, divers with a permit will be able to explore the wreck 27 metresbelow the surface.

Photo ABC news

Sara-Lise Haith
Sara-Lise Haith
Sara-Lise is the former News Editor for She is based in Dubai.