HMCS Columbia artificial reef
HMCS Columbia was a Restigouche-class destroyer that served in the Royal Canadian Navy and later the Canadian Forces from 1959 to 1974.
It is now an artificial reef located in Campbell River, British Columbia.
Columbia was laid down on 11 June 1953 at Burrard Dry Dock in North Vancouver, British Columbia. Named for the a river that begins in British Columbia before flowing into the United States.
The Restigouches class were equipped with two twin mounts of 70 calibre dual-purpose guns forward, and maintained a single twin mount of 50 calibre guns aft. They were also armed with two Limbo Mk 10 mortars.
The ship was sold to the Artificial Reef Society of British Columbia and sunk as an artificial reef near Campbell River, British Columbia in June 1996.
Displacement: 2,800 tons
Length: 366 ft
Beam: 42 ft
Draught: 14 ft
After being purchased by the ARSBC, the vessel was cleaned and prepared for sinking - all harmful materials are removed and the vessel undoes a strict, government enforced process of preparation. A location was chosen and the vessel was finally laid to rest in approx 130 fee of water near Campbell River.
24 years later the reef has become a home to marine life and a fantastic dive store for visiting humans. The vessel makes for a great dive - puget sound king crabs crawl around near the mortars, large cabezon roam around the decks, and anemones offer shelter to rockfish, crabs, and other marine life.
Artificial reefs are like giant apartment blocks for marine life. They are artificial, placed here by humans, but as soon as they hit the bottom, they become home to hundreds of species of marine life.
The HMCS Columbia continues to serve Canada, and will do for many, many years to come.