A Pearl Harbor ship was saved from demolition and revamped to become a premiere art and diving destination that will uphold history and develop more research platforms on the waters of Virgin Gorda. Converting the WW2 ship from being scrapped for metal, the project YoKo BVIArt Reef is seen to generate income for local dive operators and the British Virgin Island economy as a whole.
The Kodiak Queen ship, or YO-44, is believed to be one of the five remaining boats from the WW2 era. The vessel has been recently sunk together with a couple of art installations like giant sculptures to entertain and remain as a friendly attraction to both divers and marine life.
According to the team behind the project, they want "play and collaboration" as solutions to improve the stature of the local economy, secure the prosperity of the BVI. The solution they have come up with is a fantasy art eco-dive where people can have fun diving the site and at the same time learn about the aquatic eco-system.
There will be a massive monument of the Kraken wrapping its arms around the boat and a Goliath Grouper Rehabilitation underwater art gallery as a rehabilitation site for endangered marine species. A Coral Garden will also be put up on the deck beside the Habitat Zone for marine life.
Clive Petrovic, Marine Biologist & Environmental Consultant, said in the group's website: "This ship will quickly become a premier dive site, perhaps even rivaling the Rhone as an internationally recognized attraction." Overall, the group wanted to connect international researchers, philanthropists, and artists to solve marine concerns through a unique experience.
A month or two after the sinking, divers can now get to explore the ship and environment in it. The YoKo BVIArt Reef is a collaboration of Sir Richard Branson, Secret Samurai Productions, Maverick1000, Unite B.V.I., and Beneath the Waves.