Page last updated at 09:28 GMT, Friday, 27 March 2009

Sunk Scylla reef generates 25m

The ship was sunk by a controlled explosion

The sinking of a ship five years ago to create an artificial reef has generated about £25m for the economies of Devon and Cornwall, business bosses say.

The decommissioned Royal Navy frigate HMS Scylla was sunk in a controlled explosion in March 2004 to become Europe's first artificial diving reef.

The wreck is 23m (75ft) below the surface in Whitsand Bay.

The Devon and Cornwall Business Council said the wreck had become a popular all-year attraction.

The council said about 7,000 boat trips had been to the wreck in the five years since its sinking, so money had been spent on local accommodation and equipment.

The ship was built in 1968, weighed 2,500 tonnes and was 113m (370ft) long.

She was bought by the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth in 2004 with £200,000 provided by the South West Regional Development Agency.



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