Revisiting the Purposely Sunk Boeing 737 at Chemainus, British Columbia

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You can dive a Boeing 737 jet plane that was intentionally sunk in early 2006 to create an artificial reef in Chemainus, British Columbia.

The Artificial Reef Society of British Columbia, a non-profit organization, organized this event in 2006. This project was also overseen by a fellow named Peter Luckham.

The aircraft was no longer airworthy, so it was stripped of all usable components and the airframe was donated to the Artificial Reef Society of British Columbia (ARSBC). The plane was lowered into the Georgia Strait off Chemainus by crane after being mounted on 11-foot-high support stands and currently rests in about 60 feet of water. Organizations (Coast Guard, Environment Canada, and the RCMP Marine Unit) were present at the time to ensure that everything went as smoothly as possible. This event was also filmed by the Discovery Channel crew.

This dive site is only accessible by boat due to its remote water location near Chemainus’ British Columbia.

Photo Credit: Jay Straith

Dive Report

Yesterday Doug Deproy, Mike Campbell, Bill Golley and I were on a mission to find the now bouyless 737 airliner sunk off Chemanius. On a somewhat lumpy sea we set off from the local boat ramp with Peter Wightman at the helm. Using the depth sounder and GPS we were able to get within 100 feet of the plane when we dropped anchor.

Happily Bill and Peter Luckham had gone out a few weeks before and deployed very heavy howser lines donated by BC ferry corporation at midship. Unfortunately the mooring float was not sufficient to keep the line at the surface. A new temporary float and line were attached by our group. Bill hopes to get a better float on there in the near future, weather permitting.

I had a good chance to take a look at the plane and it’s mounts. They’re holding up surprisingly well. There was a lot of concern originally about how that type of aircraft aluminum would hold up in the Marine environment. It’s doing quite well as you can see from the attached pictures there is obviously a lot of plumose on the plane but surprisingly very little fish life. This could be seasonal or a result of a “lack of complexity” of the structure.

In all a good day on the water with pretty acceptable visibility in the 20 to 30 foot range.

Jay Straith

Photo Credit: Jay Straith

Thanks to Jay Straith for his photo contributions.

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About Author

Kathy is the owner of Kirk Scuba Gear, a passionate Scuba Diver, Ocean Advocate and Managing Editor of The Scuba News Canada

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