WATCH: A former warship has settled at the bottom of Halkett Bay, and now divers are getting their first underwater look of it. Jeremy Hunka reports.
After years of waiting, divers with the Artificial Reef Society of BC were ecstatic to finally be inspecting the former warship HMCS Annapolis from the ocean floor.
“It’s pretty cool. The ship is leaning perfectly like we anticipated,” said Martin Pelletier, one of the people who went to check on the ship today.
“So far everything is pretty good. She looked just majestic down there.”
The group began inspecting the Annapolis in the hours after it sank in the waters of Halkett Bay Marine Provincial Park off Gambier Island northwest of Vancouver.
The ship will provide habitat for marine life and serve as a destination for recreational divers. Holes were cut into its hull to allow easier access for qualified divers to explore its inner workings.
Howie Robins, the president of the Artificial Reef Society of B.C., said the group had a number of tasks as they inspected the ship, including checking its orientation on the sea floor, taking measurements, removing banners, untangling ropes, and checking to see if any walls were knocked over inside.
“It’s a full-on day of activity and tasks,” he said.
“We expect very little problems, and so far that’s tracking exactly as planned.”
WATCH: While professionals ensure the Annapolis is safe for public scuba divers, companies are excited by the financial possibilities. Jeremy Hunka reports.
Robins says they hope to open the area for divers by this weekend. Already scuba companies are booking tours to see the ship, with businesses hoping that it will create a surge in interest in scuba tourism.
“I’m hoping more people will get into scuba diving,” says Royse Jackson, International Diving Centre.
“Obviously more people learning how to dive equates to people buying equipment.”
– With files from The Canadian Press