Monday, January 28, 2008

HMAS Adelaide to become divers' delight


ABC News
January 28, 2008

Preparations are being made for a decommissioned Navy ship to be sunk to create an artificial reef off the New South Wales Central Coast.

The HMAS Adelaide will be sunk off Terrigal Beach later this year in a project expected to inject about $17 million into the local economy in its first few years.

The frigate was involved in operations in the Persian Gulf and East Timor, as well as the rescue of yachtsmen Tony Bullimore and Thiery Dubois, after it was commissioned in 1980.

The secretary of the Artificial Reef Project, Sue Dengate, says profits will be made from diving tourism and associated enterprises.

"[Divers] have to have accommodation and so forth, and they'll also be visiting other tourist attractions on the Central Coast before they fly to their other destinations," she said.

Ms Dengate says the ship will be handed over to the NSW Government in June.

"Then the successful tenderer will take her up to Newcastle, strip her, clean her and make her safe for diving," he said.

"Then she'll be towed back down to just north of Avoca, off the skillion at Terrigal, and explosive charges will sink her."



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