Hunden 4 Navy ships to create a diving theme park

Four sunken Portuguese navy ships. An artificial reef in full growth. A paradise for diving enthusiasts. This is the idea, already in operation, of the company Ocean revival, with the support of different Portuguese administrations.

The chosen area gathers some excellent conditions for scuba diving: good weather for 300 days a year, calm and safe waters with a pleasant temperature between 14Āŗ and 22Āŗ. In addition, it has good access and adequate infrastructure for the practice of this sport.

The proximity of other points of interest, such as 18th century shipwrecks or from the First and Second World War, reefs and natural walls, as well as other underwater routes in the region.

Before immersion, any material harmful to the environment was removed

The ships, which are constantly evolving, are the Patrulha Oceanic Zambeze (292 tons and 44 meters in length), the Corveta Oliveira e Carmo (1,430 tons and 85 meters in length), the Almeida Carvalho Hydrographic Ship (1,320 tons and 64 meters in length) and the Frigate Commander Hermenegildo Capelo (2,700 tons and 102 meters in length). Before sending them to the bottom of the sea, any material harmful to the environment or dangerous for divers was removed from the boats, thus guaranteeing a fully safe experience.

Underwater heritage

This project complements the broad underwater heritage of Algarve, since this region adds up a long history of shipwrecks. In the same stand out the Torvore, Wilhelm Krag and Nordsoen, three of the four ships sunk by the submarine U35 during the First World War. In addition, it has the B24 Liberator bomber, which crashed in the waters of Faro, and the Empire Warrior, sunk by the Luftwaffe in Vila Real, both during World War II. Finally, there is also the Ocean, sunk during the Battle of Lagos between British and French in 1759.

The idea goes back to the years 2007-2009, in the phase of project and donation of the ships, although the sinking of the ships did not end until the end of 2013. They are a few meters from each other, at a depth that ranges between -26 and -32 meters.

Environment for diving enthusiasts

Even when visibility conditions are more limited, the most diverse species can be observed in these waters. The funds are full of beautiful corals, sponges, anemones and sea slugs, on those who swim gold and sea bass, snappers, sea bream, brunettes, mullets, octopus, cuttlefish and seahorses, among many other species.

This marine life sanctuary complements the underwater experience with an exhibition center on land, in the PortimĆ£o Museum. Here there is an extensive documentation on the fleet with equipment, designs, photos and recordings of the ships, the chronology of his career and several documents on its historical context.

In this way, in addition to offering a unique environment for scuba diving enthusiasts, the importance of the Portuguese sea is enhanced and a testimony of the country's history is left, while opening up an important possibility for the study of marine biology in this area.

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Taken from ABC