Home ] Up ] Last Pictures ] [ Living reef ]

Living Reef


This page chronicles Bacchante's new career as a reef and dive wreck in the waters off Wellington. Bagshanties of a nervous disposition should look away now. New photos are welcomed, and full credits will be given (but no cash!)

The frigate Wellington, pummelled by 12m swell on the 3rd March 2006, only 4 months from sinking has split in three. The bow broke free from the main structure of the ship, held in place by the 8 tonne mushroom anchor used at sink time. The subsequent swell, estimated at 12m, caused the ship to slide, destroying its lower decks, pivoting on its embedded propeller shaft and rotating anti clockwide to sit in a NW position. The bow remains in position and is now lying on its starboard side. The bow section remains intact, however wreck qualified divers only should penetrate this section and during the dive consider the change in orientation with being on its side. It appears the main structure, trying to move backward, has exerted incredible pressure on the propeller shafts which have pushed back into the gearbox's and broken the back of the ship. The lower decks of the ship have been crushed with the upper decks dropping onto them. The engine room and boiler room, both large unsupported rooms, have collapsed, making a gap of approx 10m were the remains of this part of the structure lay crushed between. Midships where the bridge and officers quarters are, remain intact with handrails etc still in place. The stern and flight deck area where the original mooring buoy was attached is also intact, upright with a list to port.

Basically the ship has been flattened midships of main structure with the bow and remaining upper two sections of the ship intact. There is a debris zone on the seaward side and midsection of the ship and between the bridge and bow section. Large numbers of blue cod have moved in with terakihi, kahawai and barracuda making the three part F69 their home as has a carpet of seaweed and algae. Triple fin fish are everywhere and corallines have started inhabiting most area's of the hull and rails with hydroids covering the interior walls, providing feed for the many fish that have made F69's corridors, nooks and crannies home.

F69 Lives on....

F69_Wreck_Site_web.jpg (44769 bytes)

Marco Zeeman March 2006

F69sm.jpg (74489 bytes)

Marco Zeeman Dec 2005

gundancesm.jpg (63297 bytes)

Marco Zeeman Dec 2005

diverlightssm.jpg (16316 bytes)

Marco Zeeman Dec 2005

turretsignsm.jpg (14935 bytes)

Marco Zeeman Dec 2005

midshipssm.jpg (63388 bytes)

Marco Zeeman Dec 2005

starboardshaftsm.jpg (77726 bytes)

Marco Zeeman Dec 2005

FlightDeckStationsm.jpg (94499 bytes)

Marco Zeeman Dec 2005

midcorridorsm.jpg (56078 bytes)

Marco Zeeman Dec 2005

Hangersm.jpg (79026 bytes)

Marco Zeeman Dec 2005


 
www.hmsbacchante.co.uk  Page Updated 27/03/2006