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Last Updated: Friday, 2 April, 2004, 05:50 GMT 06:50 UK
Divers flood in to explore Scylla
A diver investigates the Scylla
Diving trips to the Scylla are booked up for the next two weekends
Diving operators in Plymouth say demand for their services this year has already outstripped that of the peak season last summer.

The surge in interest has come about because of the sinking of the warship HMS Scylla off the Cornish coast.

The boat was scuttled off Whitsand Bay on Saturday to provide Europe's first artificial diving reef.

Diving operators report no spaces left on any expedition to Scylla for the next two weekends.

The sinking of the Leander Class frigate, using a series of controlled explosions, was watched by thousands of people.

HMS Scylla
HMS Scylla sank after a series of controlled explosions
The vessel is now being colonized by local species of fish and marine life.

It will be monitored by experts at Plymouth's National Marine Aquarium using underwater cameras attached to the ship.

Scylla is attracting lots of diving enthusiasts to the South West, with the Easter holidays set to be a particularly busy time.

While diving operators are full for the next two weekends, they do have places available for midweek dives.

The project's backers estimate Scylla could generate about 1m a year for the local economy.

Divers allowed to explore ship
29 Mar 04  |  Cornwall
Warship scuttled in Cornish bay
27 Mar 04  |  Cornwall
Former crew visit reef warship
30 Nov 03  |  Devon
Reef ship clean-up starts
10 Nov 03  |  Devon


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