Canadian warship to become new dive site in San Diego

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SAN DIEGO – City Council voted to move forward on a proposal to sink a 366-foot decommissioned Canadian Navy destroyer off the coast of Mission Beach next year.

The HMCS Annapolis is currently in Canada, but it would become the second ex-Canadian ship to settle along the San Diego coast.  The HMCS Yukon was sunk about a mile off Mission Beach in 2000.

ship“It’s a massive undertaking,” said San Diego lifeguard Nick Lerma.

The Annapolis is being held under court receivership in Canada because of a default by its owner.  An organization called California Ships to Reef plans to bid on the vessel in the coming days.

“This is very good for the local economy and a lot of businesses,” said councilman Ed Harris. “People do come here to dive.”

It would cost California Ships to Reefs up to $100,000 to purchase the ship, and more than $1 million to transport it to San Diego and then sink it.

“Anytime you have this people are attracted to it,” said Lerma.

A handful of divers have died near the Yukon and others injured the last few years, but officials say if people are cautious accidents can be prevented.

“Nothing that we do with recreation is without risk,” added Lerma.  “If you maintain fitness and health, you have a better shot.”

If all goes as planned the sink could be sunk with explosives in the spring of 2015.

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