|the former HMNZS Canterbury F421 - New Zealand's latest artificial reef!
Click here to see the sinking
NZ's last Leander Class Frigate, the former HMNZS Canterbury (F421), has joined her retired sister ships, HMNZS Waikato (F55) and HMNZS Wellington (F69), as a world-class diver attraction and artificial reef. Canterbury sank on the 3rd November, 2007 - sinking in 2 mins 53 sec's and landing safely on the seabed. More links, the latest images, news and F421 specifications at bottom of page.
SAFETY COMES FIRST! Wreck diving is both challenging and adventurous for recreational divers, but also carries with it potential risks. The risks posed to divers include not adhering to dive tables, entrapment, getting lost, running out of air, injury from sharp protrusions, nitrogen narcosis and decompression sickness (bends).
Dive NZ's premier shipwreck trail! Dive the three sisters! Dive Wellington, Dive Waikato, Dive Canterbury!
Know this shipwreck, know your depth, know your tables!
All divers must have a recognised advanced SCUBA diving qualification as most of the Canterbury exceeds 18metres sea depth. This divewreck site is not suitable for inexperienced divers without a trained guide and intending divers should satisfy themselves that they have an appropriate level of training, certification and experience to undertake the planned dive. The bridge roof is at approx 22metres.The flight deck is at approx 28metres deep and entry exit holes in side of ship at approx 30metres so this is a deep dive. Where any doubt exists, dive with Northland's licensed dive tour operator. Only divers with suitable equipment, technical training and experience, should attempt to enter the wreck. Ensure you dive safe, only dive with a buddy that is also suitably qualified. Solo diving is definitely not recommended.
See the latest news and images below: For more info about Canterbury or Waikato - Canterbury Wreck or Dive Northland!
Images sourced from Royal NZ Navy
UPDATE: November 8th, 2007: Scuttled frigate offers great opportunity for Bay Maori
By Mike Dinsdale: Source Northern Advocate
Bay of Islands Maori must take advantage of the economic opportunities provided by the sinking of the former navy frigate HMNZS Canterbury, hapu spokesman Richard Witehira says. The Canterbury has been cleared for diving after being sunk in Deep Water Cove, Bay of Islands, on Saturday in a controlled explosion.
The boat was scuttled by the Bay of Islands Canterbury Trust, a collaboration between business and community leaders and the Ngati Kuta and Patukeha hapu.
Patukeha spokesman and trust chairman Mr Witehira said it was wonderful to finally have the wreck cleared for diving as it provided tremendous opportunities for both hapu and the wider Bay of Islands community.
"The opportunity for economic advancement is there for the hapu and if we fail to capitalise on that opportunity we have nobody to blame but ourselves," he said. "It was with a great deal of soul-searching that our elders gave permission to bring this project into our rohe (district). They made the decision for the economic benefit of our people."
Mr Witehira doesn't dive so sadly won't be able to explore the wreck, but he will go snorkelling over the wreck soon as it can be seen when snorkeling. "That will be pretty exciting for me, though," he said. Meanwhile, the first official public dives on the wreck were by Shane and Julie Housham, from Northland Dive and also fellow trustees.
Navy diving tender HMNZS Manawanui, containing a 10-strong Navy Operational Diving Team, explored the wreck yesterday and Tuesday to ensure that all the explosive charges had gone of and that she was safe for the diving public to enter. The team successfully completed checks that all the charges laid on the 3000-tonne vessel had gone off and have cleared her for diving.
A series of dives using detached divers on twin compressed-air cylinders, as well as using the ship's surface-supplied breathing apparatus, were required to re-buoy the wreck and delineate how it was lying, as originally only one buoy was showing.
For the dives, the Manawanui was moored close in to the wreck as gale-force winds from the south-east made laying the three anchors challenging due to the close proximity of the navigational hazards nearby. At the end of the dive, the navy divers entered the ship's recompression chamber for 37 minutes to recompress due to the depth and duration of their dive.
A series of buoys have been laid to mark where the wreck lays below the surface. The Canterbury will make up part of a chain of diving wrecks sunk off Northland's coast, including former navy frigate Waikato and navy survey vessel Tui - both sunk off Tutukaka - and the former Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior, sunk off Matauri Bay. (The former HMNZS Wellington, featured on the DIVEWRECK website, is the sister ship to Canterbury and Waikato. Wellington is an excellent example of the flourishing ecosystem that Canterbury will quickly become!)
UPDATE: November 3rd, 2007: Canterbury frigate sinks in the Bay of Islands!
The frigate Canterbury made a spectacular exit today as it sank beneath the waves in the Bay of Islands.
See the video - click here
UPDATE: November 3rd, 2007: The old navy ship Canterbury has been scuttled as a dive wreck in the Bay of Islands.
The frigate, which led New Zealand's official protest against the French nuclear tests at Mururoa atoll in the 1970s, was sunk at a depth of 28 metres near Cape Brett. Thousands turned out to watch the event on Saturday. Maori elders held a farewell prayer service on board the Canterbury before it was sunk.
Police divers will check the wreck to ensure it has settled safely for diving. Sink time - 2min 53secs, 3rd Nov, 2007
UPDATE: October 31st, 2007:: The Fighting TEMERAIRE (CANTERBURY) tugged to her Last Berth to be sunk!
Some of you will recognize the title of what may be the most famous of all English paintings. If you aren’t familiar with it, you can easily find it online. While I admire Turner as one of the few great originals who also managed to be financial successes in their own lifetimes, I don’t think ‘The Fighting Temeraire’ can compare with many of his other works. My two favorites are probably ‘Sunrise with Sea Monsters” and ‘Yacht Approaching the Coast’, though there are many, many wonderful Turners.
The photo above is a modern variation on the theme. HMNZS CANTERBURY was towed from Opua Wharf yesterday morning to Deep Water Cove near Cape Brett, where she will be sunk Saturday morning, 3rd Nov, to become NZ's latest dive site.
New Zealand is becoming skilled at this. The RAINBOW WARRIOR, refloated after being sunk by the French in Auckland, was resunk in the Cavalli Islands twenty miles north of here; and another retired New Zealand Navy frigate, the former HMNZS Wellington, was sunk off the south coast of Wellington City a couple of years ago.
Nevertheless there was last minute panic when someone decreed that twenty-two additional holes had to be cut in the hull last weekend. Once cut these holes had then to be covered with plywood for insurance purposes during the ten mile tow to the ship’s final resting place, where the plywood would have to be removed. Sinking ships in peacetime is more complicated than in war. Source: http://inthepresentsea.com/blog/2007/10/31/opua-the-fighting-temeraire-canterbury-tugged-to-her-last-berth-to-be-broken-up-sunk/
UPDATE: October 17, 2007: New date for frigate sinking
The former Navy frigate Canterbury will now be scuttled as a diving and marine tourism attraction in Northland on Saturday, November 3.
The trust behind the project has confirmed the new date after it postponed the frigate's scheduled sinking just inside the entrance to the Bay of Islands last Saturday due to forecast poor weather and related safety issues.
The 113-metre Canterbury will be sunk in Deep Water Cove by a series of explosive charges but it must be correctly positioned in a wind of less than 15 knots for it to hit the seabed in a pre-planned location.
UPDATE: Wednesday October 10, 2007: Sinking of frigate delayed by weather!
Bad weather has delayed the sinking of the navy's last steam warship as a dive attraction in the Bay of Islands.
Controlled explosions were to have blown about 12 holes in the hull of the 3000-tonne Leander Class frigate, the former HMNZS Canterbury (F421), in Deep Water Cove near Cape Brett at the entrance to the Bay of Islands on Saturday. However, a bad weather forecast would have made it too dangerous for the many small boats expected to witness the sinking, said the chairman of the Bay of Islands Canterbury Charitable Trust, Richard Witehira.
He also said the weather in the last day or two meant it was too risky for a tug to tow the 37-year-old ship to Deep Water Cove from Opua where it was being stripped of salvageable items and cleaned of contaminants so it would be environmentally safe for sinking. "I am very, very disappointed but you can't sacrifice safety just to achieve what we want to achieve. "The gods have not been kind to us," Mr Witehira said. The ship was now likely to be sunk later this month or early next month.
Canterbury was the last steam warship in the navy when it was taken out of commission and it would join its sister ships, Waikato off Tutukaka and Wellington at Island Bay, as dive attractions. The ship was expected to add millions of dollars to the tourist economy of Northland as divers did a package tour, taking in Waikato, the former navy oceanographic ship Tui just north of Tutukaka, Canterbury and the Rainbow Warrior in Matauri Bay. - NZPA http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10469067
UPDATE: 3rd October 2007: Teenager to scuttle navy vessel!
A teenager has won the rights to sink HMNZS Canterbury on October 13. Fourteen-year-old Lucy Hamnett of Opua will press the button to send the 3182 tonne warship to the bottom of Deep Water Cove to create an artificial reef after her father won the unique opportunity at a charity auction.
The Bay of Islands Canterbury Trust has spent $600,000 stripping and cleaning the ex-navy frigate in preparation for the scuttling. A further $80,000 needs to be raised in order to sink the frigate by the deadline.
"Despite this, the Trust is confident we will meet these costs," says chairman Richard Witehira. "It's unfortunate the Far North District Council doesn?t have the funds to help us out, though they have helped us in every way they can by dropping the usual fees involved." HMNZS Canterbury will be sunk using a special form of detonation called Shaped Linear Charge, which had to be specially imported from the USA.
The detonation will have the effect of an implosion so as not to disturb dolphins resting in the vicinity. The Department of Conservation is still considering the effect this will have on the environment. The frigate will remain in sole ownership of the Bay of Islands Canterbury Trust after the sinking to ensure that profits made will be put back into the community.
"The intention of sinking the frigate is to provide employment for the local hapu," says Mr Witehira. The trust is responsible for the area 500 metres around HMNZS Canterbury, including the beach and is currently in the process of applying for a ban of all fisheries above the artificial reef and a possible ban of fisheries in the vicinity. The implosion will take place at 2pm on October 13. Source: http://www.stuff.co.nz/northland/4224461a22378.html
UPDATE: Sep 8, 2007: Pieces of warship up for sale
The group planning to turn the Navy's last steam-run warship into a diving attraction have come up with an explosive way to raise money for the operation. The Frigate Canterbury is set for a watery grave in the Bay of Islands and an online auction will determine who will send it there.
The scavenging has begun and every detachable and sellable item is up for grabs. "Everything is for sale really. I mean, if you fancy a gauge or a tap it's all yours for a fee," says Deb Ryder. Even the right to blow up the ship is up for grabs.
It is hoped the online auction will help the volunteer organisation cover the huge costs of turning the ship into a dive destination. "We really, really need donations. We still need at least $80,000 to get this sunk so we are not in debt," says Ryder. Norm Greenall has been with the Canterbury from the beginning.
"For someone who hasn't worn a suit in 10 years, I haven't done too bad," says Greenall. He was part of her construction team in the 70s, served on board her for years and it is now up to him to finally lay her to rest.
"It was a very big piece of my life. I had to change my wedding date to go over there with my new wife, so it was basically a two-and-a-half-year honeymoon," he says. Greenall says sinking the old girl will be like the death of a loved one. But he will never forget life on board, even the nuclear tests near Mururoa were part of work on the ship.
"You just saw a mushroom just above the clouds. It probably wasn't one of the best trips in my life because the weather wasn't all that flash," says Greenall. He is hoping the weather will be perfect when it comes to finally laying the 2,000 tonne ship to rest in the Bay of Islands next month. (See the related video here http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/411749/1337637 )
UPDATE: 3rd August: Paihia wins Canterbury propeller
The Bay Chronicle NAVAL HISTORY: One of two propellors from the former naval frigate Canturbury, will be on permanent display in on Paihia's waterfront. It measures about 4 metres in diameter. A 4.8 tonne five-blade propeller from the former frigate Canterbury will be mounted at Paihia. Paihia fought off competition from a number of other centres. The entries were judged on the level of community support, the contribution the proposal would make to plans to sink the Canterbury as a diving attraction, the potential contribution to tourism generally, the design of the mount and the profile of the site.
The aluminium and bronze alloy propeller will be on display on the Paihia waterfront. The presence of the former frigate as a diving attraction at Deep Water Cove is expected to have a positive economic impact on the Bay of Islands. A second propeller will be on display at Kissing Point near Whangarei. The Canterbury is currently moored alongside the main wharf at Opua while the Bay of Islands Canterbury Trust strips the ship in preparation for its new role as a diving attraction off Deep Water Cove.
UPDATE: 1st August, 2007: Strip almost complete as Canterbury prepares for plunge
Progress on stripping the ex-HMNZS Canterbury has been steady despite the weather problems experienced in the Far North. The Bay of Islands Canterbury Trust aims to have the stripping complete by the end of September. Target day for sinking is October 13. The trust, however, has a $50,000 to $70,000 funding shortfall and is looking for major sponsors to take advantage of the publicity surrounding the sinking.
The public and local businesses are also encouraged to donate. The trust has thanked Craig Buckland, who donated a dive computer worth $1000 that he won in a competition run by Dive HQ. The computer will be raffled at $2 a ticket with proceeds going to the project. Tickets can be bought at Dive HQ in Waipapa and Paihia.
The next public open days on the Canterbury will be Saturday, August 11 and Saturday, September 8. There will be guided tours and items for sale. A gold coin donation will be appreciated.
There is also an opportunity for people to help with the project with two volunteer work weekends planned for September 15 and 16 and 22 and 23.
Volunteers will help with cleaning and final preparation. They will receive a free t-shirt and sausage sizzle lunch. This is a great opportunity to be part of the Canterbury's final crew.
UPDATE: 29th June, 2007: NRC flags frigate bill
By Imran Ali: An $18,000 bill to cover pilotage, inspection and supervision during the sinking of the former Navy frigate Canterbury in August has been waived. Northland Regional councillors approved the fee waiver on Wednesday after a request by the Bay of Islands Canterbury Charitable Trust chairman Richard Witehira. The ship, which served the nation for more than 30 years, was towed to Opua in February and is being stripped for scrap. It will be sunk as an artificial reef and dive attraction at Deep Water Cove, of Cape Brett. Its backers hope it will generate $20 million a year in tourism earnings. The council's bill to the trust included $945 for pre-arrival arrangements, $5000 for pilotage fees, $4723 for inspections and $5580 for sinking supervision, plus GST of $2031. In his letter, Mr Witehira requested that the council consider the benefits the project would bring to the region as a recreational dive site and a potential breeding ground for fish. He said apart from the sale of scrap - expected to earn the trust $300,000 to $400,000 - its sole source of revenue was from grants and sponsorship.
The 113m Leander-class frigate, the Navy's last steam ship, was built in Scotland in 1970. It had served around the world, including leading a protest against French nuclear bombings at Mururoa Atoll in 1973. It also served in the Indian Ocean, relieving the British Navy during the Falklands War. Canterbury is Sister ship to the frigate Wellington......dive all three leander frigates! Treble dive NZ!
UPDATE: 6th June, 2007: Home needed for Canterbury prop: A final resting place is being sought for a 5-tonne propellor from the former naval frigate Canterbury. The Far North District Council is asking the community to suggest a suitable location for the propellor which it bought earlier this year. "We need ideas for an appropriate home for this magnificent representation of an important era in New Zealand's maritime history and felt the best way was to invite the public to come up with some firm proposals," council community development advisor Tania McInnes says. "We want to see the propeller mounted and on public display - the question we are asking the community is where this should happen," she says. Those bidding to have the propellor mounted in their area will have to show they have the backing of their community.
People are also asked to suggest a suitable mount for the propellor which has a diameter of 3.6 metres. The council's community development committee will select the successful bid in consultation with the Bay of Islands Canterbury Trust which is preparing the frigate for scuttling as a dive attraction near Cape Brett. The council will contribute up to $7500 to cover any legal expenses, engineering and mounting costs.
UPDATE: 29th May, 2007: US explosives to sink frigate
Copper Linear Explosive......used to sink ships all over the world by Roy Gabriel, John jennings and their team!
Explosives worth about $30,000 are on their way from the United States to send the former Navy frigate Canterbury to the bottom of Deep Water Cove in the Bay of Islands in October as a diving and tourist attraction. The Canterbury is now being stripped of fixtures and fittings. Buyers can attend a a jumble sale during public open days this Saturday and Sunday at Opua wharf.
UPDATE: 18 May, 2007: Helping Northland communities manage growing tourism
Press Release: New Zealand Government: Tourism Minister Damien O'Connor visited Tutukaka today and presented a cheque to help pay for infrastructure in the town. The Government grant, worth $1,297,639, to the Whangarei District Council, comes from the Tourism Demand Subsidy Scheme, an $11 million fund set up in 2004 to help small communities fund water and wastewater infrastructure needed to sustain growing tourist numbers. Mr O'Connor said: "I am delighted this wastewater scheme is now in operation and that the Government was able to contribute to its funding, along with local ratepayers and businesses."
The Government is committed to ensuring sustainable tourism development, and the subsidy scheme has been a valuable part of that, Mr O'Connor said. "Rapid growth in tourism can place pressure on smaller communities, particularly where rating bases are small, such as here in Tutukaka. The investment needed to build infrastructure to meet the needs of visitors as well as locals can be much higher per capita than in larger cities. "
Associate Tourism Minister Dover Samuels said the grant would help the area develop into a world-class tourism attraction. "Complimentary activities in the area such as the Poor Knights Marine reserve, the Waikato and Tui dive wrecks on Tutukaka's doorstep, along with the HMNZS Canterbury soon to be sunk at Deep Water Cove in the Bay of Islands, and the Rainbow Warrior at Matauri Bay all combine to make this stretch of water a very tempting choice for divers to come and experience."
New Zealand is forecast to receive an extra 17 million international and domestic visitor nights by 2012, and regardless of the added demand visitors will still expect hot showers, clean drinking water, and functional toilets.
UPDATE: 09/04/2007: Frigate to find final resting place in October
The HMNZS Canterbury is now at Opua in the Bay of Islands. File Photo / Greg Bowker
The charitable trust that has taken the decommissioned Navy frigate, the HMNZS Canterbury, to the Bay of Islands to sink as a dive attraction has decided it will be scuttled on Saturday, October 20 - two days before the 36th anniversary of the frigate's commissioning in 1971. The 113m Canterbury, now being stripped at Opua wharf in preparation for its new role, will be sunk in Deep Water Cove near the entrance to the Bay of Islands. About $400,000 is expected to be raised from the sale of scrap metal from the ship and so far, seven truckloads of metal have gone to a Whangarei-based scrap buyer.
An 18-strong wrecking crew is concentrating initially on recovering high value non-ferrous metal such as copper in the vessel's kilometres of wiring. Stripping operations manager Norm Greenall says a recent public open day produced offers to buy a number of items including the entire captain's galley, dials, gauges, telephones and signs. The Canterbury's propeller has already sold for $20,000 and there is strong demand for the crew's aluminium gear lockers which are priced at $25 each.
The trust will raise a total of about $650,000 for the entire venture. This includes around $85,000 to cover the expected costs of bringing in an overseas expert to scuttle the ship and the explosives needed to send the Canterbury to its final resting place. Licences are needed to import the explosives and the trust is negotiating with the Canadian expert who was in charge of scuttling the HMNZS Wellington several years ago.
UPDATE: 04/04/2007: Warship headed for the deep
HIGH AND DRY: The HMNZS Canterbury is being stripped down before its sinking at Deep Water Cove, in the Bay of Islands, as a diving attraction.
Photo: JOHN SELKIRK/Dominion Post
The navy's last steam warship will begin its final voyage this year when it is sunk in the Bay of Islands. Ian Stuart of NZPA talks to a man who already has three navy ship notches on his belt. Former navy man Norm Greenall has developed a reputation around navy ships he is a little unsure about. At a reunion of his former navy colleagues at the Devonport Naval Base in Auckland recently he learnt of an email circulating about him. "They said to watch out for this Norm Greenall fellow. He has sunk more of our navy ships than the enemy did in the whole of the Second World War," he said.
Later this year he will add the fourth Royal New Zealand Navy ship to his tally when carefully placed plastic explosives are simultaneously set off to blow about 12 holes in the thin steel hull below the waterline of the navy's last steam warship, the Leander-class frigate Canterbury. The water pressure will force the one-metre by one-metre steel plates cut by the explosive charges back inside the hull and within two minutes the 37-year-old frigate will sink 28 metres to its new home as a dive attraction on the seabed at Deep Water Cove, near Cape Brett in the Bay of Islands. A former navy chief petty officer, Mr Greenall, 66, has been preparing the ship for sinking since it arrived last month at the same wharf at Opua, Northland, where he also prepared a sister ship, the former HMNZS Waikato, for sinking at Ngunguru, near Tutukaka, north of Whangarei, in 2000.
He also took on the same role for HMNZS Wellington, which was sunk at Island Bay in Cook Strait in 2005, and the navy research ship, HMNZS Tui, which was sunk just north of Tutukaka in 1999. The 2900-tonne Canterbury was bought by the Bay of Islands Canterbury Charitable Trust for $1 from the Government earlier this year and for the next six months will be at Opua as a team of Work and Income Task Force Green workers remove contaminants, ferrous metal, and anything of value before it is sunk, probably at the end of winter.
Mr Greenall was at the Glasgow yard of Yarrow and Co in Scotland in 1969 when the keel was laid for the 2900-tonne ship. He was there for the building and fitting out of the ship and served three years as a shipwright after it was launched in 1970. He said it was always a happy ship.
"Even though now I am pulling it to bits, I feel comfortable on it." After it was commissioned in 1971 he sailed to New Zealand on the delivery trip in 1972 and was on board when the then Labour government sent MP Fraser Coleman on it to Mururoa Atoll the following year to protest at French nuclear tests. "He (Coleman) was good because he always came to our mess to drink his scotch," Mr Greenall said.
In the 1970s the navy still issued its sailors with a tot of rum, which was one eighth of a pint of overproof spirits. It was watered down for junior ratings who drank it under supervision as soon as it was issued, but petty officers were issued with neat rum. Britain's Royal Navy phased out the tot in 1970, but in New Zealand the last tot was issued in 1990. The rum is still issued on special occasions when the "splice the mainbrace" order is issued.
Mr Greenall said the Mururoa trip was not a highlight of his navy career. "We had people up there we were rescuing off unseaworthy yachts that should never have been there. Good on them for protesting but it put our guys' lives at risk." The crew was not allowed ashore at Mururoa and stayed outside the 12 nautical mile limit.
In spite of his ties to the old ship, he felt comfortable preparing it for sinking, he said, though he would probably find a quiet corner to be alone to deal with the emotions of sending a ship he served on for three years to the bottom of the sea. "I am not sure how I will be able to handle it," said Mr Greenall, a 30-year navy veteran. As a chief petty officer (shipwright) he was responsible for the hull maintenance and its fittings and said he knew the ship inside out.
"At this stage of the operation we are probably ahead of the others (Waikato and Wellington)." The propellers had been removed and sold and the main gun was removed before it left Devonport. A lot of interest had been shown by former crew members who wanted items such as kit lockers, bunks and other memorabilia. The public was also expressing a strong interest in parts, he said.
One of the most prized finds so far was some documents presented to a sailor with his bravery award. "All the documentation for it was down behind a locker." The documents were being safely stored till they could be handed back to Bjorn MacRae, the young electrician who may have saved the ship from being lost at sea to a fire – a sailor's worst nightmare. He was made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his bravery after fire broke out in the ship's auxiliary switchboard near the Chatham Islands in October, 2003.
Mr MacRae and another electrician, Dale Bradly fought the fire. Mr MacRae struggled through thick, black, acrid smoke and attacked the fire with an extinguisher in spite of his difficulty breathing. At the time, the ship's captain, Commander Lance Cook, said had it not been for the quick-thinking and instinctive reaction of Mr MacRae and Mr Bradly the fire could have spread throughout the ship. In the "ultimate extreme," the ship could have been lost, he said. Repairs cost more than $1 million.
Mr Greenall said they had found the citations and papers extolling Mr MacRae's bravery and they would be kept till he could be found and they were returned to him. One of Mr Greenall's scariest moments on the Canterbury was soon after the ship was launched. During sea trials off England the steering gear failed as they were about to go through a breakwater as they left port. The ship was controlled by changing the speed of the port and starboard engines or reversing them but for a few minutes there were some nervous people on the bridge and in the damage control headquarters where Mr Greenall was on duty.
"We lost power to the steering. There are processes in place to overcome that but it is not a very good look." For Mr Greenall there were mostly good times to remember, particularly on the British designed and built Leander-class frigates. They were originally built to operate around England, and in the unforgiving North Atlantic Ocean.
"They were a particularly good sea boat," he said. However, the Leander-class frigates were known to have a hull weakness just forward of the bridge and the frigates that have already been sunk, Waikato and Wellington, had broken in half at the weak point.
Mr Greenall hoped that would not happen when Canterbury was sunk at Deep Water Cove. The sinking site had a flat, sandy bottom and if the ship could be sunk on an even keel it could sit on the bottom in one piece for many years as a drive attraction, he said. The tentative sinking date has been set for October 20, almost 36 years to the day after the ship was commissioned.
UPDATE: 30/03/2007: Women gear up for frigate work
By RICHARD EDMONDSON - Northern News. Women's status in society may have improved since the days when feminists rallied behind slogans like 'girls can do anything'. But there are still many professions in which women are underrepresented and the scrap metal business is arguably one of them. Three of the 20 labourers and their supervisors stripping the frigate Canterbury for scuttling near Cape Brett are women, and two of them are new to this type of work.
Natasha Fussell of Rawhiti was unemployed before working on the frigate, but seized the chance to be a part of the project that is important to her partner's hapu. "It's an experience of a lifetime," she says.
The job has involved ripping out interior fittings and electrical wiring in poorly lit compartments below deck. Previously a stranger to spanners, screwdrivers and socket sets, Natasha is considering a career in the scrap metal business when the Work and Income subsidised job ends in six months. Holly Rewha, also of Rawhiti, was a fulltime mum before joining the Canterbury crew.
Like Natasha, the experience has opened her mind to new career opportunities. "I'm thinking of becoming a mechanic, because I've got the hands to fit into small gaps and, by the time I start the training, I will have the muscles too," she says. Supervisor Trudy Perry of Whangarei is treating the job as another chapter in a varied work history that includes light engineering, landscape gardening and building. "It will be another adventure wherever I go in six months. The world's our oyster," she says
UPDATE: 18/03/2007: Frigate Canterbury Preparing For Sinking
The old navy frigate HMS Canterbury has become a tourist attraction in the Bay of Islands months before it is due to be sunk as a dive wreck.
The ship was towed to from Auckland to Opua last month and is now being stripped and cleaned in preparation for sinking in October. Kelly Weeds, from the Canterbury Charitable Trust, says visitors and community groups are queuing up to be shown over the Canterbury.
He predicts there will be mixed emotions when it is finally sunk. Mr Weeds says the Canterbury will be open to the public at Easter, in exchange for a gold coin donation towards the project.
UPDATE: 21/02/2007: Old frigate scrubs up well for a new adventure in the deep
The Canterbury gets a clean-up in Auckland yesterday. Photo / Greg Bowker
The former frigate HMNZS Canterbury stopped in Auckland yesterday for a scrub before heading up to the Bay of Islands to become a dive attraction. The clean-up, which saw the 113.4m frigate waterblasted clean on a dry dock, was done to prevent sea squirt from being transferred into Northland's waters. It is believed the pest established itself on the frigate's hull while she spent two years sitting tied up in Canterbury after being decommissioned.
Conditions of the resource consent granted to sink the frigate in Deepwater Cove, Cape Brett, required that it be free of unwanted organisms such as sea squirt. Biosecurity NZ senior marine adviser Peter Stratford applauded the frigate's new owners, the Bay of Islands Canterbury Charitable Trust, in having the vessel thoroughly cleaned out of the water.
"They are taking very seriously the responsibility we all have to protect the marine environment," he said. "This whole process is a good example of everyone working together to protect our waters from harmful marine pests. "This cleaning will ensure no unwanted organisms are moved into the Northland waters, ultimately making the Canterbury diving attraction even more fantastic."
Biosecurity NZ is working to educate all boaties, particularly those with vessels that are permanently moored, about good hull cleaning and anti-fouling practices as an essential part of preserving the marine environment. "The cleaning of the Canterbury is an example on a large scale of the kind of responsibility we'd like to see all vessel owners taking," said Mr Stratford. The Canterbury was launched by Princess Anne on May 6, 1970, and commissioned into the Royal New Zealand Navy on October 22, 1971.
UPDATE: 19/02/2007: Frigate off to the cleaners
The Canterbury will become a dive attraction. File Photo / Paul Estcourt
The old Navy frigate Canterbury begins its final preparations today before its last voyage north. It is due to go into dry dock at the Devonport naval base to have its hull cleaned before being towed to the Bay of Islands and sunk as a dive attraction. The 3000-tonne Leander-class frigate, which was the last steam ship in the Navy, will be sunk in Deepwater Cove at Cape Brett. It will spend four days in dry dock to have the marine pest seasquirt cleaned off the stern hull and have the propellers removed and lashed to the deck. It is due out on Thursday.
Kelly Weeds from the Bay of Islands Canterbury Charitable Trust said that if the weather was right the tow north would begin immediately. The ship would be berthed at Opua for about six months to allow salvageable material to be removed and sold. He said the two bronze propellers were worth about $14,000 each for scrap but could be sold for a lot more for their sentimental value. The trust would like to keep one and have it mounted as a memorial to the ship. - NZPA