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Last Updated: Monday, 14 June, 2004, 09:18 GMT 10:18 UK
Ship wreck site to train divers
The wreck will be used as a training site for divers
A boat is lying at the bottom of the sea on Teesside after a careful operation to sink it.

The Kittiwake is in a corner of the West Dock in Hartlepool where it will be used for divers and marine archaeologists to explore.

The boat will provide a real-life training tool for divers in salt-water conditions.

The Kittiwake was sent to its final resting place after 90 years of service to Hartlepool's fishermen.

Sand bags

The boat was donated by Hartlepool Arts and Museum Service to members of the Nautical Archaeology Society.

The society's North East coordinator, Gary Green, said: "It will be used to train divers in underwater archaeology techniques and this provides a superb underwater training tool for us in real salt water conditions.

"Recording underwater is a very difficult technique to master.

"It is easy to learn in a safe controlled environment like this before you go out and start working on a real project out at sea where conditions will be a lot worse."

The Kittiwake was built around 1913 and used as a fishing boat, and although she is full of holes, she was still able to float and was filled with sand bags to help her sink to the bottom of the dock.

Mr Green said: "We will monitor how long it takes to fall apart as a gauge to other wreck sites that we come across."

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