Ark Royal reef a step closer

Another hurdle cleared by team planning to sink a carrier

Author: Pat
2nd February 2012
 

A plan to sink the Royal Navy carrier Ark Royal as an artificial diving reef has cleared another obstacle.

Local councillors in Torbay have backed the idea of scuttling the Navy’s decommissioned flagship off their shore.

A charity called Wreck The World is pushing for the mothballed vessel to be turned into a diving attraction.

They argue that the success of the HMS Scylla – sunk off Plymouth in 2004 – proves how lucrative artificial reefs can be.

Ark Royal is a much larger vessel and would be sunk in deeper water, some six miles off the coast of Torbay, Devon. However, the idea is she would settle upright just 5-10 metres below the surface, offering a range of dives for all experience levels.

The MOD has not yet decided what to do with the ageing ship. Her sister carrier Invincible was broken up in a Turkish scrapyard earlier this year. If Ark Royal survives the breakers, she could be turned into a luxury helipad or sold as a museum piece.

But Wreck The World hopes their 3.5 million pound bid will be enough to secure the vessel, which they say could bring 10 million to the local economy annually.

 
 
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