The Government of St Eustatius (Statia,) in the Caribbeanå‘s Netherlands Antilles, has acquired and is currently preparing for the destinationå‘s latest artificial reef
, scheduled to be submerged during the last week of July 2003. The vessel is 100 metres long (300 feet) and previously served for cable-laying by AT&T. Statia will hold an event in celebration of the sinking of the dive ship, giving travel professionals the chance to experience history for themselves, as it is occurring.
The Charles L. Brown was acquired last year, and has since crossed many oceans to arrive at its final destination, the turquoise waters of Statia - part of the Winward Islands chain of the Caribbean, located just south of St Maarten.
Statia, a member country of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO)
is known for its unique and unspoiled diving, combining archaeological dives with beautiful coral reefs as well as exciting and picturesque non-diving activities. Although only a mere eight square miles (20 sq. km.,) with a population of 2,100, Statia has a lively history, that can be found at the bottom of its clear blue waters in the more than 200 wrecks that lie sunken offshore.
“It is with great enthusiasm that the community of St. Eustatius is awaiting the sinking of The Charles L. Brown,” said Alida Francis, director of tourism for the St. Eustatius Tourist Bureau. “The new, artificial reef will not only bring a much needed economic boost to the island, but will also provide ideal habitat for fish and many other reef creatures,” Francis added.