Amid pomp and jubilation, people sunk the Mv Dania, a ship that plied the Gulf and East African trade routes in the 80s, at Bamburi Marine Park in Mombasa. She is expected to help replenish the depleted coral reef.

Hundreds of tourists along the Bamburi waterfront witnessed the sinking on Sunday. The boat carried humans within a few meters of the blue vessel to witness the historic occasion.

Human activity has depleted the coral reef along the Indian Ocean. The ship’s metal is expected to support the growth of coral and marine life. At 1:05 PM on Sunday, October 27th, 2002, Mv Dania sank in style after flooding its hull.

The bow lifted above the water before disappearing under a plume of dust. Groups of anxious engineers and environmentalists hugged and cheered when the vessel went down.

Mr Walter Wilkie, a consultant with Whitesands Beach Hotel who said he took part in another ship sinking in Comoros in 1992, described the event as impressive. Ms-Katherine Anderson from the United Kingdom, travelling aboard the Mv Universe, exclaimed: “It is historic. Unbelievable!”

A boat stood alongside the vessel, pumping water into it to quicken the sinking. She had left the harbour at 7:00 AM and 9:00 AM, anchored off the beach at Bamburi.

Before decommissioning, the ship carried livestock in the Indian Ocean for over 15 years. While en route to India after decommissioning, it had completed this task. After decommissioning and on her way to India on retirement, Buccaneer Diving, a Mombasa-based company, bought and made it an artificial reef.

The ship now lies in around 35 M of water, just off Bamburi Beach. They removed her engines, cleaned her hull to negate any environmental impact, and prepared her fully cleared interior for sinking, allowing divers to penetrate it.

Her upper deck now features a specialized ‘assault course’ for trainee divers at around 15 M, and they have laid special direction lines below deck for divers who want to penetrate the wreck, down to 30 M at the ship’s lowest level.

This ease of access makes her an ideal classroom for specialised dive courses. Wreck diving trips and courses will be led from the nearby Voyager Resort, Whitesands and other local hotels. Buccaneer has established a specialist wreck diving website with more information.

In the same year, they discovered a sunken barge off the South Coast. The wreck has proved popular with abundant marine life and wreck divers. Mv Rodriguez used to be the former name of Dania. Have you done any diving near the MV Dania lately? Share your experiences by commenting below.