A Mexican navy patrol ship has been sunk in the waters off Baja California to create the country's first dive park. The Uribe 121 is the first vessel intentionally sunk in Northwestern Mexico.

Video : Mexican Navy Ship Sunk For First Dive Park in Mexico

Image: FB - URIBE 121 Arrecife en Rosarito B.C.

For the past year this ship has been undergoing a complete cleansing in the Port of Ensenada, so that it does not endanger underwater flora and fauna (plants and fishies), as it becomes the keystone of the new Rosarito underwater park to be located off Puerto Nuevo. The sinking, originally scheduled for last April, was moved to November.

Labeled a new diving adventure, the underwater park expects to draw divers and tourists to Rosarito, not only from the United States, but from the world over. In addition to providing a great destination for divers, the underwater park will provide the science community with a field laboratory for the study of sea life, climate, and tides.

The survival rate for fish is actually higher in an artificial reef environment that in a natural one and they are recycling the tough to recycle, such as ships and statuary. Artificial reefs are being created all over the world in hopes of reversing some of the damage we’ve all done to the underwater environs.

The Uribe 121, named for a fallen hero of the Mexican Navy, Second Lieutenant Virgilio Uribe, was built in Spain in the 1960’s and has five sister ships still in service in Mexican waters. A fire on the bridge caused the boat to be pulled from commission. When plans were made to scuttle the vessel, ecologists suggested turning it into an artificial reef.

Ships to Reefs International is overseeing the massive undertaking, which has been in the works for eight years. In addition, Baja California Divers, a group of Tijuana divers, has been promoting this reef project, and made the original request to the Mexican Navy for the patrol boat. All loose materials have been removed, and the hull has been scoured to international standards set by Ships to Reefs International. Bacteria were introduced to oil compartments, and after three months the oily sludge was rendered into water.

Source: gringogazette.com