Ocean Quest of Burnaby, BC, and The Edge Diving, of North Vancouver are two AUP dealers actively involved with the ARSBC in moving along this Artificial Reef Project on the west coast of Canada. Among their most import roles are the marshalling and motivating of the many volunteers. AUP in Canada has been involved by providing thank you prizes for some of the big-push weekends.
Here we are into our third summer working on the HMCS Annapolis. It has been an incredible journey.
Over the past 22 years, the ARSBC has placed seven artificial reef projects along the southern coast of BC, including six ships and one aircraft. Today all those artificial reefs have gone on to prove their worth to the environment and the diving community. They provide an oasis of life in areas that did not support much life before the artificial reef was sunk.
Just over three years ago, the ARSBC took on our eighth artificial reef project and during that time, the ARSBC along with our marine contractor, Wes Roots Marine and an army of over 1000 volunteers, have dedicated over 12,000 hours work in preparing the HMCS Annapolis as an artificial reef. Every project has had its own unique set of challenges and the Annapolis is no different. Over the years since our last project the regulatory landscape has changed, new rules and regulations have come into play and we have had to adapt. We have encountered and overcome seemingly insurmountable problems with finances, logistics, manpower and legislation and we are still here, and our persistence has paid off. The BC government has recently accepted the HMCS Annapolis as a gift to the province and given us the go ahead. It is a testament to the desire and need for this project.
At this point, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel but there is still a lot of work to be done and we continue to rely on the generous support from volunteers, the diving community and the diving industry. Presently we are doing some serious landscaping on board the Annapolis. Walls are being removed throughout the ship which is a constant source of confusion. Even those of us who have been on the ship almost every weekend and know the ship like the back of our hand are now getting disoriented or lost. Rooms that were there last week are no longer there. Hallways that led somewhere now don’t lead anywhere. The removal of the walls is done for three reasons. Many of the walls are high grade aluminium and have value to the project. The recycling of metals is the prime source of revenue for this expensive project. Removal of walls allows for safe and more open dive routes inside the ship where many small spaces can be quite constrictive and hallways can be quite narrow. It also allows for access to some smaller compartments and machinery spaces where work still needs to be done.
There are still a couple of big jobs to do such as the removal of ballast ingots from a few of the fuel tanks and the dismantling of the large generators on the ship but for the most part, the remainder of the work involves a thousand small, five minute jobs. This involves going room to room and detailing each space. This includes the removal of any and all substances that may pose any environmental threat or a safety hazard to divers. For some rooms this may be just the quick removal of a small bracket hanging from the ceiling that contains a piece of copper pipe or scraping a small patch of flaking paint from the wall.
It is hoped and planned that with the continued support from all that we will see the successful completion of this project sometime this fall. For more information on how your can help with this project please contact Deirdre McCracken our Director of Public Relations at email@example.com