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Indian minesweeper to be first artificial reef

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DIVING NEWS

Indian minesweeper to be first artificial reef

M69 JerryE

Picture: JerryE.

The popularity of scuba diving has grown rapidly in India in recent years alongside an increase in outward tourism, the country itself having few recognised dive-sites other than around its distant Andaman Islands.

Now there are plans to start changing that next year – with the sinking of a minesweeper.

12 December 2018

India’s first planned artificial reef is to be located in the Bay of Bengal off Puducherry (formerly Pondicherry) on the country’s south-east coast.

The INS Cuddalore (M69) was decommissioned in 2018 after 30 years of service, and is being donated by the Indian Navy to be sunk at a depth of 26m, four miles off the coast.

The plan is to sink the Russian-built 61m-long warship upright with its 29m mast protruding from the water, so that it can be promoted as an attraction both for divers and surface tourists.

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