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Ship that survived Pearl Harbour attack to make up dive site in VI

- Maverick BVI Art Reef an initiative of Richard C.N. Branson
The YO-44 was decommissioned after WWII and later became a fishing boat named the Kodiak Queen. Photo: Owen Buggy
On December 7, 1941, fuel tanker YO-44 was able to avoid the bombs falling on Pearl Harbour by relocating to nearby Merry Point Landing, making it one of only five ships to survive the attack. Photo: Owen Buggy
On December 7, 1941, fuel tanker YO-44 was able to avoid the bombs falling on Pearl Harbour by relocating to nearby Merry Point Landing, making it one of only five ships to survive the attack. Photo: Owen Buggy
Billionaire Richard C. N. Branson believes the artificial diving site will benefit the Virgin Islands economy and help to rehabilitate heavily over-fished marine populations. Photo: Flickr
Billionaire Richard C. N. Branson believes the artificial diving site will benefit the Virgin Islands economy and help to rehabilitate heavily over-fished marine populations. Photo: Flickr
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- The Virgin Islands (UK) is set to be the beneficiary of a top class artificial reef diving site, according to Belonger Billionaire Sir Richard C.N. Branson.

While not spilling all the details as to where exactly the dive site will be located or when it is scheduled to be in operation, the Billionaire informed via https://www.virgin.com  under the topic: Sinking a WW ΙΙ Ship to create an underwater art reef, that the territory will be placed on the global map.

World class dive site

The Ship- of a World War II era, Branson explained on March 7, 2017, aims to mobilise a global network of researchers, philanthropists, engineers, entrepreneurs, and artists, helping to solve marine health issues while creating a world-class dive site.

“We are planning to sink the former USS YO-44, a ship that served - and saved lives - in Pearl Harbour during WWII. This historic vessel was primed to be scrapped for metal before Owen Buggy, former marine mechanic, and photographer on Necker Island, identified it and the team dreamed up this project. The ship will form the centerpiece of a unique new dive site called The Maverick BVI Art Reef,” Mr Branson wrote.

According to the New York Times, on December 7, 1941, fuel tanker YO-44 was able to avoid the bombs falling on Pearl Harbour by relocating to nearby Merry Point Landing, making it one of only five ships to survive the attack. The YO-44 was decommissioned after WWII and later became a fishing boat named the Kodiak Queen.

Mr Branson informed that it will include a large-scale art sculpture of an 80-foot Kraken, which will double as a human interest feature for divers and a coral out-planting platform, which he believes will kick-start a thriving reef ecosystem through innovative and effective coral restoration techniques.

Unique dive site

“I’m sure it will be one of a unique dive sites in the world,” he said.

In addition, the project will also help to rehabilitate heavily over-fished marine populations, he continued, with a special focus will be on bringing back vulnerable species of Grouper, such as the Goliath Grouper.

Boost local economy

The Billionaire noted that the local economy will benefit.

“Like us, the BVI Tourist Board is confident this new dive site will boost the local economy by putting the BVI on the world map as a top dive destination. What’s more, the project is supporting cutting-edge scientific research called eDNA (environmental DNA) facilitated by NPO partners Beneath the Waves, as well as swim programmes and providing ocean conservation platforms for inspiring our next generation of ocean stewards.”

The project is a collaboration between Unite BVI, Secret Samurai Productions, Beneath the Waves, Commercial Dive Services and Association of Reef Keepers, along with entrepreneurial adventure group Maverick1000.

The idea Branson explained came from a brainstorming session on one of his privately owned islands-Necker, to create a sustainable idea from the creation of the artificial reef.

“This reef will allow people to experience the wonder of the ocean and its species up close while having the time of their lives. That way, what they learn will stay with them and affect them deeply, and hopefully turn into more action to conserve the ocean. I’m confident the BVI Art Reef will be among the most unique and meaningful dive sites in the world and, in turn, will help to inspire future ocean conservationists in my own backyard,” Mr Branson added.

14 Responses to “Ship that survived Pearl Harbour attack to make up dive site in VI”

  • cuban (12/04/2017, 21:32) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    good work
  • ... (12/04/2017, 21:45) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Great idea! Go team B V I
  • nothing in it (12/04/2017, 21:47) Like (3) Dislike (10) Reply
    what's the big deal it will be just a dive site with no permanent staff so what we getting long term?.
  • long look me come from (12/04/2017, 21:50) Like (12) Dislike (6) Reply
    this government hates locals mehson It is OK for Brason but not ok for our local chalwell boy to put his gazebo in the water? set of oppressors
  • wize up (13/04/2017, 06:21) Like (1) Dislike (3) Reply
    this country is being developed as a playground for the visitors; I know some will say visitors bring money; yes somehow most of those funds goes into the pockets of private parties and government gets the crumbs....cruise ship; close to one million visitors but how direct income
  • ?? (13/04/2017, 10:02) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    While not spilling all the details as to where exactly the dive site will be located or when it is scheduled to be in operation???
    It's already sunk at Long Bay, Virgin Gorda.
  • Tired (13/04/2017, 14:36) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    @wize up I strongly believe you have two personalities...... one could be brilliant and the other is just dumb. Guess which one you r now.
  • any bets? (13/04/2017, 16:15) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I am willing to bet that branson ain't put that boat no where close to his islands
  • OK VINO (13/04/2017, 16:16) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Now i undestand the whole story because i was lost on that other site
  • pat (13/04/2017, 21:56) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    are our ocean bottoms going to look like a salvage yard with junk and trash? what about leaking oil and gas, plastics and paint? how is that going to help coral live? Too much of a clever thing is not so great in the long run.
    • Dwayne Strawn (14/04/2017, 16:41) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Pat, you have very valid concerns. Before a any piece of machinery eg, boat, plane etc is used for the creation of artificial reefs it goes through a process of preparation which includes purging it of oils, fuel, hydraulic fluids etc. These artificial reefs actually create an amazing habitat for marine life from the bottom of the food chain right up. If I am not mistaken there should be about 4 such in the BVI already (Inganess Bay, Marie L, Pat and Beata). This is done all over the world and extensive research have been done regarding the effectiveness as reefs and the environmental impact etc. Feel free to check it out and do some research on your own. Good looking out though!
      (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinking_ships_for_wreck_diving_sites ) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_reef)
  • no more sea food 4 me (14/04/2017, 12:18) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
    The NDP is now beginning to make our ocean floor an official dumping site
  • falconGod (15/04/2017, 10:16) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply

    #*$@ some one wake me up.



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