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After years of legal wrangling, the Artificial Reef Society of British Columbia successfully sank the former HMCS Annapolis in the waters of Halkett Bay Marine Provincial Park off Gambier Island northwest of Vancouver. The ship will provide habitat for marine life and serve as a destination for recreational divers. Holes were cut into its hull to allow easier access for qualified divers to explore its inner workings.


Photos by John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

Onlookers gather as the Artificial Reef Society of BC prepares to sink HMCS Annapolis in Halkett Bay Marine Park and turn it into an artificial reef in Howe Sound, April 4, 2015.

Final preparations are made for the sinking of HMCS Annapolis in Halkett Bay Marine Park in Howe Sound.

The view from the helicopter window as hundreds of spectators in boats gather outside of the safety rope to see the sinking of the HMCS Annapolis.

Hundreds of spectators in boats just outside of the safety perimeter to see the sinking of the former HMCS Annapolis.

Hundreds of spectators in boats just outside of the safety perimeter to see the sinking of the former HMCS Annapolis.

Charges on HMCS Annapolis are ignited to begin sinking the ship.

The ship sinks beneath the waves as the smoke from the explosive charges rises above the water.

Explosive charges ignite to send the ship to the bottom of the bay.

Smoke erupts from the charges and water churns around the ship as it sinks.

Bubbles rise to the surf after HMCS Annapolis fully sinks to the bottom of Halkett Bay Marine Park to begin a new life as an artificial reef.

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