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16 of the best shipwreck dives

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Kodiak Queen

In March 2017, Richard Branson sunk the Kodiak Queen, one of the last surviving vessels from the Pearl Harbor attacks, in the British Virgin Islands. The aim is for it to become both an underwater art installation for divers and an artificial reef to help the local ecosystem in the area.

Branson recently visited the site himself and said: "The vessel had so much history whilst afloat, including avoiding the bombs of Pearl Harbor and rescuing hundreds of people. Now, in its final resting place, it will create even more history, serving as a permanent eco-friendly underwater art installation — giving enormous pleasure to divers for many decades to come."

Located south of Mountain Point of Virgin Gorda, the wreck is unmissable due to the gigantic sculpture of a Kraken that is wrapped around one end of the wreck. A truly unique spot for keen divers, it offers the opportunity to see how artificial reefs can attract exciting marine life.

Kodiak Queen, formerly the Navy fuel barge YO-44, managed to withstand the attacks on December 7, 1941, but was later discovered by a historian rusting in a junkyard in Road Town, ready to become scrap metal.

"It's exciting to know that in years to come that coral will find a home on the ship, and groupers, parrotfish and other sea life will find their favourite corners to live and play," Branson said, adding: "The Kodiak Queen will show the world just how useful these disused vessels can be for capturing people’s attention on the importance of addressing climate change, protecting coral reefs, and rehabilitating vulnerable marine species."

Picture courtesy of Facebook.com / Richard Branson

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