Tuesday, August 08, 2006

New Zealand Navy Ship To Be Sunk As Dive Attraction

The retired navy frigate HMNZS Canterbury will be sunk as a dive attraction in Deepwater Cove at Cape Brett in the Bay of Islands. Defence Minister Phil Goff said today the Government had looked at selling the ship for scrap but the country would get greater economic benefit if it was sunk as a dive wreck. The 3000 tonne, 36-year-old warship, the last steam ship in the navy, would become the third navy ship to be sunk off the Northland coast as a dive attraction. The research ship Tui was sunk north of Tutukaka and the Leander class frigate Waikato, a sister ship to Canterbury, was sunk off Nunguru, slightly south of Tutukaka. The Bay of Islands Trust won the right to sink the ship ahead of several other organisations.
HMNZS Canterbury
"The Bay of Islands Trust's proposal was seen as having the best potential to deliver the greatest overall economic benefit to the community and the country," Mr Goff said in a statement. However when the ship was sunk, its name would live on. The navy's new multi-role vessel, due to enter service early next year, would be called HMNZS Canterbury, Mr Goff said. The frigate Canterbury was commissioned in October 1971 and de-commissioned in March 2005. It had been alongside at the Devonport naval base in Auckland since then. The main 4.5-inch gun was removed and would go to the new naval museum in Auckland. The ship was connected to the base's power supply to power pumps and internal lights.

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