The HMAS Adelaide II is scheduled to be sunk off New South Wales’ (NSW) Central Coast to create the state’s first artificial reef on 13 April 2011. The former naval vessel was given to NSW by the Australian Government and will come to rest off Avoca Beach near Terrigal, to create a new dive site for the state.
Central Coast Tourism’s Chief Executive Officer, Ollie Philpot; “The Ex-HMAS Adelaide Artificial Reef will attract a new market of international traveller to the Central Coast and conservative estimates indicate that 5000 divers a year will enjoy the experience, injecting AU$4.5 million (US$4.6 million) annually into the local economy.”
The HMAS Adelaide II was a long-range escort frigate with roles including area air defence, anti-submarine warfare, surveillance, reconnaissance, and interdiction. Built in the US, the ship was the first of six Adelaide class guided-missile frigates to be delivered to the Royal Australian Navy. The ship is 138.1 metres long, with a beam of 14.3 metres and original displacement of 4,100 tonnes. It was decommissioned in 2008 after 28 years of service.
Five former warships have already been sunk to form as dive sites in Western Australia, South Australia, Queensland and Victoria, but this is a first for NSW. The HMAS Adelaide II will come to rest approximately 1.8km off the coast of Avoca Beach in approximately 32 metres of water.