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Aussies sink frigate to create a reef

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only
by Staff Writers
Sydney (UPI) Apr 13, 2011
An old Australian navy vessel was scuttled off the country's coast Wednesday to form an artificial reef, officials said.

The sinking of the HMAS Adelaide proceeded after a delay caused by a pod of dolphins swimming by.

The Adelaide, which had been the oldest frigate in the Australian navy, was sunk about a mile off Avoca Beach in New South Wales, The Daily Telegraph of Sydney reported. A mostly jubilant crowd watched on the beach as the explosive charges that sent the ship to the bottom went off.

Not everyone was happy. A small group of protesters kept a vigil through the night on the beach and beat a rhythm on 55-gallon drums painted with skulls and crossbones, the symbol of danger. They say much of the ship is covered in hazardous lead-based paint.

A skywriting plane flew overhead writing the word "Shame."

The Central Coast Artificial Reef Project, a coalition of diving businesses and clubs, has been lobbying for years to get a decommissioned warship for New South Wales. Two previous ships have gone to Queensland and Victoria.

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