This decorated WWII ship is thought to be only one of five ships to have survived Pearl Harbor – and it ended up in a junk heap ready to be scrapped for its metal.
That was the plan, until it was salvaged by a team of artists and turned into an artificial coral reef and art gallery.
The collective that rescued the Kodiak Queen ship, originally dubbed the “YO-44”, wanted to keep the vessel as a treasure of our history and transform it into a symbol of life and rebirth. After saving the ship in March 2017, the team cleaned it up, decorated the structure, and prepared it for its new home.
One of the most impressive new features of the vessel is a massive 80-foot sculpture of a kraken, the mythical monster portrayed in Pirates of the Carribean, which wraps around the ship as a means of encouraging marine life.
The team then towed the Kodiak Queen out to an ideal location in the Virgin Gorda seas around the British Virgin Islands and sunk it to the bottom.
Since it was installed in its underwater home, the newly-dubbed “BVI Art Reef” has become a thriving ocean ecosystem and adventure diving location that educates local youth on marine habitats and conservation. For local scientists, it is a valuable spot for underwater research and observation.
As a bonus, local cultures and villages are experiencing an economic boost with the tourist traffic that is drawn to the intriguing dive spot.
(WATCH the magnificent transformation below)
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Reprint (Photo by Owen Buggy Photography)