An 80-Foot Steel Kraken Will Create An Artificial Coral Reef Near The British Virgin Islands

One day, a young marine mechanic and photographer named Owen Buggy noticed a ship called the “Kodiak Queen” in a shipyard in Road Town, Tortola… rusting away amongst other ships waiting being scrapped for metal. Owen envisioned sinking the ship as an artificial reef and curious about the ship’s origins, started doing some research. He quickly discovered the Kodiak Queen wasn’t just a normal fishing trawler— but a missing piece of World War II history.

More: BVI Art Reef, Facebook h/t: colossal

Owen’s online research led him to a historian named Mike Cochran, who had previously stumbled across the ship in 2012 when sailing the BVIs. Cochran had created a page dedicated to the history of the Kodiak Queen— originally called the YO-44, suspected to be one of only five ships that survived the bombing of Pearl Harbor on Dec 7, 1941. Cochran had posted the page as a call-out to the world, hoping this information could someday help preserve this piece of history.

In 2016, that dream came true – The Transcendence Of The YO-44:

“The historical relevance of the ship, the human interest elements of underwater sculptures, the opportunity to stimulate the local economy through the promotion of a new recreational dive site, the scientific study opportunities of an artificial reef with the primary objectives of protecting vulnerable species such as the Goliath Grouper, helping to eradicate introduced species such as lionfish to help protect our endemic species of local fish, coral restoration, recording the evolution of increased biodiversity as the ship develops it’s very own ecosystem, and engaging with local schools and universities to create an educational platform on a local level…”

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