Recreational reef off San Diego coast seeks to add second sunken ship
Did you know there is an artificial reef off our coast in San Diego? Did you know it’s growing? Two miles out from Mission Beach, this man-made underwater recreational park is available for scuba diving enthusiasts to explore and swim around in. The folks who run this endeavor are attempting to enlarge their sunken fun park.
The plan is for the Canadian Naval ship “Yukon”, which was sunk off the San Diego coast in 2000, to become a home for a natural reef, as the reef life covers the sunken structure. Another addition to the reef, also a Canadian ship, may soon join the “Yukon”.
The “Annapolis” is almost the same ship as the “Yukon”. Possession of the vessel has been assumed by the courts of the province of British Columbia. The California Ships to Reef organization want to purchase the ship, and sink it right next to the “Yukon” as part of the establishment of a larger diving adventure area. The “Annapolis” measures in at 366 by 42 feet, and displaces nearly 3,500 tons of water. The ship has already been partially configured for the sinking and recreational use by Canadian volunteers.
California Ships for Reefs plans to raise the capital to both buy the ship and complete the necessary refurbishment.
In the meantime, two submarines separators, obtained when they became unusable, will be moved to the site of the “Yukon” reef this month, and will be sunk to enlarge the size of the reef and diving area. The subs have reef growing on them to an extensive amount and are planned to add to the natural reef environment.
However, there are concerns about the project, since five divers have had fatal accidents on or nearby the artificial reef since 2000. The latest, on December 1, 2012 was a 26-year-old Staci Johnson, a Marine from Camp Pendleton and an experienced diver. Her body was found aboard the Yukon. The Medical Examiner announced she accidentally drowned due to blunt-force head injury.
California Ships to Reef plans to establish an underwater diving park with six ships and other artifacts such as the submarine separators.
For more information concerning the building of the reefs and acquiring of ships to sink, go to http://www.californiashipstoreefs.org/.
For information on chartering a boat to the site of the Yukon reef, go to http://www.waterhorsecharters.com/dive_sites.html#wrecks