rcnhistory.org :
Clipping submitted by
Kenneth Boatwright.

news clipping of scuttling of HMCS Mackenzie.

Final Stop Straight Down/ The HMCS Mackenzie was lined with explosives and sunk to the bottom of the ocean floor to become an artificial reef for divers off Rum Island, near Sidney.

Ship scuttled to make divers' reef

SIDNEY (CP)—A loud bang and clouds of brown and white smoke signalled the end for the Mackenzie, deliberately sunk Saturday as an artificial reef for divers.

The decommissioned 112-metre destroyer escort ended a 34-year naval career in waters off this Victoria suburb in just over four minutes after explosives blew huge holes in her hull.

Hundreds of small craft travelled eight kilometers east of here to watch outside a 150-metre safety zone while helicopters and float planes circled overhead.

The Royal Canadian Navy made a big fuss over the Mackenzie, unlike the sinking of her sister ship Chaudiere three years ago near Sechelt on the mainland for a similar reef.

"There was a lot more contro­ver­sy around it," said John Stonier of the Artificial Reef Society of B.C., referring to pollution fears and opposition by environ­ment­al­ists and native Indians to the first sinking. "Chaudiere was a proving ground."

With three sunken vessels under its belt and three more proposed for the B.C. coast, the society now finds itself the centre of a popular new tradition for old ships.

"It's better than razor blades," former members of the Mackenzie's crew said of Saturday's sinking.

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