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Aussie dive club push for new artificial reef in Sydney



artificial reef

An ex-Australian Navy ship could be sunk off Coogee Beach in New South Wales to create an artificial reef to boost tourism under a proposal by the Gordon’s Bay Scuba Diving club.

The plan is to create Sydney’s first recreational dive wreck by sinking a decommissioned ship 4km off Coogee Beach.

Gordon’s Bay Scuba Diving club secretary John Rowe said the dive wreck would create a new marine habitat and boost the economy – without any negative impact on Coogee Beach.

“It creates an effective marine habitat on what was otherwise a soft-bottomed featureless environment,” he said.

The club’s dream ship is the Royal Australian Navy’s HMAS Sydney IV, due to be decommissioned on the 7th November.

More than 1200 people, including Coogee MP Bruce Notley Smith, have shown support for the project.

“I’ve done three wreck dives and loved every second of it,” Mr Rowe said.

“The relationship between you and the ship … is a magic secret treasure.

“It’s an extraordinary feeling you get when you go there.”

The club came up with the idea after seeing the former naval warship, the Ex-HMAS Adelaide, sunk off Avoca Beach in 2011.

The NSW Department of Primary Industries reports the site is already home to a healthy marine community of giant cuttlefish, blue groper, kingfish, yellowtail and octopus.

A location near Wedding Cake Island has been identified for the ship, 30 metres under water on a sandy ocean floor away from shipping channels or telecommunication cables.

“When a ship is decommissioned and sold for scrap it can get about $15 to $16 million,” Mr Rowe said. “If we convert it into a dive wreck you could see a return of somewhere between $80-$100 million over 20 years.”

Pro Dive Coogee manager Rod DeGroot said a Sydney dive wreck would boost the diving industry and local tourism.

“In Sydney we have got a lot of historical wrecks, but most are too deep for the average diver,” he said.

“There is limited dive sites that have real mass appeal – this could create a lot of interest in an area which wasn’t a diving location prior to that. And could attract people who have a real love for wrecks,” he said.

The Ex-HMAS Adelaide project at Avoca Beach ran into opposition from local groups who were concerned the ship would pollute the ocean, but an Administrative Appeals Tribunal concluded:

“The level of pollutants now aboard the ship is low, and those that remain are either in very low quantities or inert and unlikely to cause any environmental problem.”

The dive wreck would be accessed by boat from Botany Bay, Rose Bay or Malabar.



21 Itineraries for 2021



Blue O Two and their friends at WWDAS have announced their second instalment of the 21 Itineraries campaign.  It celebrates their wonderful staff contributions and highlights some of their favourite SCUBA diving liveaboard itineraries.

With many of them having an in-depth knowledge of the destinations, liveaboards and itineraries, who better to ask than the staff themselves? Some have extensive SCUBA diving experience, and others are beginners.  This helps to give every diver out there an idea of which SCUBA diving experience would best suit them.

A top destination for many, Egypt is definitely one of the favourites.  This time they focus on the Deep South itinerary, which ticks all the boxes for any diver wanting to cave dive, see thriving reefs and corals, enjoy breath-taking drop-offs, shark sightings and a vast array of marine life.

Photo by Simon Lorenz

Second on their staff’s SCUBA diving bucket-list this month is the Central Atolls itinerary in the Maldives.  This 7 night SCUBA diving adventure delights with an abundance of marine life, coral gardens and drift diving.  Not only is this the perfect destination for underwater photographers but you can also book yourself onto one of their PADI courses too.

Photo by Simon Lorenz

Last but not least, we are introduced to the beautiful Bahamas.  Bustling with lemon sharks, Caribbean reef sharks, tiger sharks, great hammerheads, nurse sharks and the occasional bull shark, this itinerary is definitely for…  you’ve guessed it, those shark lovers out there.

To start ticking off SCUBA diving bucket-lists and seek inspiration, check out their website for more information here:

Blue O Two and Master Liveaboards specialise in SCUBA diving liveaboard holidays, throughout 15 destinations, world-wide.  Their specialist SCUBA diving liveaboard trips cater for all levels of diver, from beginner to advanced.  Whether you are looking for the rocky landscape of the Galapagos to the white sands and crystal waters of the Maldives, the range of itineraries catered for is vast, offering different experiences, to ensure everyone’s SCUBA diving holiday needs are covered.

Visit the Blue O Two website at

Header photo by Robert Wilpernig

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Marine Life & Conservation

Jeff chats to… Chloe Hurst, overall winner of the See You at the Sea Festival Film Competition (Watch Video)



In this exclusive Zoom interview, Jeff Goodman, Scubaverse Editor-at-large, chats to Chloe Hurst, winner of the See You at the Sea Festival Film Competition.The See you at the Sea Festival was an online film festival created by young people, for young people.

Chloe’s film – Waves of Change – can be seen here:

Second in a series of six videos about the competition. Watch the first video HERE with Jenn Sandiford – Youth Engagement Officer with the Your Shore Beach Rangers Project and the Cornwall Wildlife Trust – to find out more about the Competition. Each day this week we will be sharing one video in which Jeff talks with the young contestants about their films and what inspired them.

For more information please visit:

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This is the perfect start to your 2021 diving season… and at an incredible lead-in price of just £885 per person.

Jump on board the latest addition to the Emperor fleet and enjoy diving the famous sites of the Red Sea with this fantastic special offer. This itinerary takes in the wonderful South & St Johns from 26 February – 05 March 2021.  

Subject to availability – limited flight seats at this price so don't delay!

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email to book your spot!

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