Thousands of people watched as a train ferry was scuttled near Aarosund in southern Denmark earlier this month.
The ferry M/F Aerosund’s new function will be that of an artificial reef – the biggest in the country. In addition to being a haven for marine life, it will of course also serve as an awesome site for wreck diving.
The scuttling was filmed with 15 cameras.
Gert Normann Andersen, the contractor who has been overseeing the sinking of the ship, said the ferry had been filled with sand so that it would position itself top up on the seabed.
“All ferries I know are lying upside down or on one of the sides – this one has to stand right on the bottom. We put a lot of sand as ballast in the bottom of the ship and emptied all the tanks of air, so if it goes to the side on the way down it will stand right on the bottom,” he said.
The ferry is 55 meters long, 9 meters wide and 13 meters high. The wreck will lay on the seabed approximately 600 metres from the shore at a depth of 19 metres, with the top of the wreck only 6 meters below the surface.
Diving expert Ulrik Westphal was watching the scuttling.
“It’s a party here right now. There are many divers here and they all think this is very good – this is the first qualified reef here in Denmark,” he said.
The University of Southern Denmark will conduct a series of research studies at the site on marine migration over the coming years.
Prior to its scuttling, the ferry was decontaminated and made safe for diving.
“Everything is moved away, the paint, oil, everything is cleaned all over. I think it’s the cleanest wreck ever on the seabed,” Andersen said.
As a dive spot, the ferry will become an internationally recognised diving attraction and educational site for wreck diving.
“In the future, it will be exciting to see how quickly it’s overgrown, with sea urchins and mussels and so. We all hope it will be quick because when that has happened, the fish come. First the small ones and then the bigger ones and there are many small spaces where the big cod can hide. It will be exciting to see,” Westphal said.
The ferry was in operation from 1960 to 1999 in the South Fyn archipelago of Denmark.
Here’s a video of the ferry being scuttled:
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