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Portugal: A First for Sinking Two Ships in One Day!

A new record was set when two ships were scuttled as artificial reefs in one long day. X-Ray Mag's Barb Roy is on location.
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Ex-NRP Oliveira e Carmo passes the port of Portimao on the way to the sinking site. Photo: Barb Roy -
Source:     |     |   11-02-2012
On Tuesday, October 30th, 2012 the ships were placed in Algarve off the coast of Portimao in southern Portugal as the first of four ships, part of the Ocean Revival Project.
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The 85 meter long Corvette Ex-NRP Oliveira e Carmo went down in less than three minutes without a problem and the Ex-NRP Zambeze, a 44 meter long patrol vessel slipped under the surface not long after. Both ships were donated by the Portuguese Navy.

To help prepare ships, Luis Sa Couto of Sub Nauta Dive Center and coordinator for the Ocean Revival Project, solicited the assistance of the Canadian Artificial Reef Consulting company from British Columbia, who has prepared over a dozen ships around the world. Together with the help of several Portuguese Navy Demolition Instructors and a few local key recruits, the first part of the project (five years) took only six months in the actual ship preparations.

After both ships were resting on the ocean floor and the okay was given by the Navy Clearance Divers, visiting divers eagerly jumped in to check out the new site. The second part of the project will take place in the Spring of 2013, involving the scuttling of a frigate and a hydrographic ship. All ships will be placed parallel to one another and the beach.

For more information on the project and diving in Portugal:
• Sub Nauta – www.subnauta.pt
• Ocean Revival Project – www.oceanrevival.pt
• Canadian Artificial Reef Consulting – www.artificialreefs.net

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