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Historic World War 2 warship converted into new Caribbean dive site

A former fuelling vessel that was one of just a handful of ships that survived the attack on Pearl Harbour in 1941 has become a new artificial reef, world-class dive site and marine habitat in the British Virgin Islands. Set to boost dive tourism and raise awareness of ocean conservation, there is no better way to experience this new site than off the back of The Moorings crewed dive yacht, Poseidon’s Pearl which comes complete with captain, chef and host.

Kodiak Queen, which was earmarked for the scrap heap, has just been saved, cleaned and sunk off Virgin Gorda in the BVI as part of a permanent eco-friendly underwater art installation.  The ‘BVI Art Reef’ the project is being led by Sir Richard Branson and a group of leading entrepreneurs, engineers, artists and scientists all working together to give the ship an honourable and rejuvenating next chapter in her long career at sea.

Before it was sunk, an 80ft giant sea monster was created by artists out of mesh and fixed to the top of the ship so it can provide a structure underwater to help with coral restoration and create an invaluable marine habitat. It is hoped that everything from turtles, sharks, sea sponges and corals will live on, in and around the wreck. In time the project aims to raise awareness of the important environmental issues facing our oceans and capture people’s attention on the importance of addressing climate change, protecting coral reefs, and rehabilitating vulnerable marine species.

BVI Art Reef is a joint project between Sir Richard Branson, the Maverick1000 group of entrepreneurs and the Unite BVI Foundation together with Secret Samurai Productions, Commercial Dive Services, Beneath the Waves, the Association of Reef Keepers and photographer Owen Buggy.


Notes to Editors / Additional information: 1. The project started when photographer Owen Buggy discovered that Kodiak Queen had historical significance. The ship, which began life as a fuelling vessel in World War 2 served for many years in locations and on oceans across the globe before being retired to take on a new role as a fishing vessel. More recently she had been ear marked to be scrapped by the Government of the BVI when Owen Buggy realised the role she had played in our history. 2. More info can be found at 3. The Moorings, the world's premier yacht charter company, has delivered unmatched quality, service and attention to detail since 1969. Top of the line sail-it-yourself bareboat yachts, all-inclusive luxury crewed yachts with captain and chef, and innovative power yacht charters are available throughout the world.

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