Scuba Divers plan celebration of Yukon Reef’s 10th Anniversary
It hardly seems like a decade ago that the HMCS Yukon was sunk in the waters just off of San Diego, California coastline. Since that time, thousands of divers have explored the wreck, which helped open the door to the possibility of new wrecks up and down the coast.
A series of events to celebrate the success of that venture will be held July 14 in San Diego. The HMCS Yukon was reefed ten years earlier, on July 14, 2000, where it almost immediately became home to marine life and has since become a thriving ecosystem of its own. Its sinking was pioneered by Dick Long, now Chief Advisor to CSTR and the San Diego Oceans Foundation, who bought the ship, completed work on her and sank her outside of Mission Bay in San Diego.
The huge success of the Yukon is cited by California Ships to Reefs (CSTR) in its mission to sink decommissioned military or retired commercial vessels along the California coast. The Yukon today attracts almost 11,000 divers a year, pumping $450,000 into San Diego’s coffers from harbor tax revenues and $6.6 million into the local economy from direct and indirect market revenues.
To commemorate the sinking there will be an above and underwater press conference at the Yukon in the morning, followed by a series of panel discussions at the Maritime Museum of San Diego, explaining how to get and reef a ship. The day will be capped by a cocktail party in the evening. Tickets for these events will be available to the public starting in February at California’s dive shops and dive charters, as well as CSTR’s website and at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. The CSTR website is http://californiashipstoreefs.org.
The mission of the Maritime Museum of San Diego is to serve as the community memory of our seafaring experience by collecting, preserving, and presenting our rich maritime heritage and historic connections with the Pacific world.
California Ships to Reefs is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Public Benefit Corporation seeking to reef surplus ships as artificial reefs, bringing diving and fishing tourism to local ports in California and enhancing the Ocean Environment. For further information, please visit the organization’s website at http://californiashipstoreefs.org or contact Public Information Officer Eleanore Rewerts at 530-633-4858.