Diver Canada : November 2006

In this article published in the canadian magazine Diver Magazine, a complete article abou the biggest wreck ever sunk in the oceans : the Oriskany.

Here is the beginning of the article :

"A new program conducted by the Navy, some National Agencies and some local area commissions has scheduled to scuttle some old war ships around the US coast. The first experience started off the Florida coast in May 17, 2006. Environmental and economic issues are the main guidelines that direct the project.
The former USS Oriskany, a decommissioned aircraft carrier, became the largest ship intentionally sunk as an artificial reef May 17, 2006. The ship successfully sunk in 212 feet of water approximately 24 miles off the Florida coast near Pensacola. After 25 years of service on Mediterranean Sea, Korean and Vietnam, the USS Oriskany will now benefit marine life, sport fishing and recreational diving off the Florida panhandle. The 888-foot and 32,000 ton ship is sunk in a north-south orientation at a depth requested by the Florida State. A similar experience has been tested off the Keys coast in Florida. The USS Spiegel, a retired cargo vessel was scuttled in 2002 off Key Largo. But it was a civilian project, paid for with a combination of county and private money. For the sinking, the Navy has been working with the U.S. The first challenge to deal with was the environmental aspect. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Escambia County Marine Resources Division and the local Pensacola area community for three years to study and to demonstrate that the ship will create an environmentally safe artificial reef. The USS Oriskany was the first ship to be environmentally prepared using the EPA’s Best Management Practices for Preparing Vessels for Use as Artificial Reefs. It was also the first ship receiving a risk based Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) disposal approval from the EPA based on the agency’s findings that the reefing would not pose an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment. In the old days, some ships were sunk without concern for toxic effects. Some, for instance leaked oil. The EPA found that some PCBs and other chemicals could be left onboard without harming marine life. Some new decontamination guidelines have been..."

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