The country's newest shipwreck and dive attraction is already covered in algae and home to a myriad of sea life. The former Leander-class Navy frigate HMNZS Wellington was sunk off Island Bay in Wellington on November 13 after six years of planning and preparation.
The top of the bridge and the ship's helicopter hangar was only six metres below the surface at low tide and could be dived on by snorkellers. Mr Zeeman said divers with air tanks had said the internal dive on the ship could be done without a torch because there were so many holes cut in the ship which let in a lot of light. The ship had already attracted a lot of sealife, with schools of red cod and juvenile fish.
The ship sank in less than two minutes after a huge fireball exploded over the bridge and bow of the ship, and carefully placed explosive charges blew out precut holes in the hull, shown in the above right image. The ship was built in England in 1969 for the Royal Navy and named HMS Bacchante. It was bought by the New Zealand Government in 1981 and renamed HMNZS Wellington.