BVI News

Transforming trash to treasure | Artificial dive sites being created in BVI

Two ­new artificial dive sites are being created in the British Virgin Islands.

Kendyl Berna, the Vice President of the non-profit organization Beyond the Reef told BVI News the sites will be created using three hurricane-wrecked aeroplanes and the old Willy T boat.

She said the sites will be created within the first week of August and will be located at Great Dog, and Key Bay on Peter Island.

The aeroplanes will replace the former artificial dive site at The Dogs. That dive site was destroyed by the 2017 hurricanes. However with the installation of helical anchors, the new site will be properly secured to the seabed, Berna said.

She told BVI News the planes for the dive site are being transformed to resemble sharks.

“We chose sharks just because sharks are one of the biggest fish species in our waters,” she said.

In the meantime, the old Willy T boat will be changed into a ‘sunken pirate-themed ship underwater ship playground’ at Peter Island.

“There isn’t anything currently. It is a really protected and a safe dive site with no current. It also has a good depth of about 60 to 65 feet so we will be installing some moorings with it as well,” she explained.

Berna further said her organisation is hoping to use the site to keep the territory’s pirate history alive.

“The reason behind the initiative is kind of four-fold. To clean up derelict ships and aeroplanes that would otherwise go into waste here, recycling of the hurricane materials, creating additional positive publicity and tourism for the BVI, as well as a new dive site,” Berna said.

The initiative will benefit territory’s children too

She said the new tourist attraction will also assist local children in learning to swim.

“It will be generating $5 from every diver on the site that will go back into children’s swim programmes. We have basically gotten all the dive operators on board, and all of them have agreed to do their best to collect this money,” she explained.

Meanwhile, the undertaking is costing roughly $300,000, and the non-profit organization has teamed up with Commercial Dive Services to make the initiative possible.

She said the government has been incredibly supportive of the undertaking.


Copyright 2022 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.


Disclaimer: BVI News and its affiliated companies are not responsible for the content of comments posted or for anything arising out of use of the comments below or other interaction among the users.

  1. hmm says:

    how much does it cost to learn to swim?

    Like 1
    Dislike 4
  2. elton says:

    in group summer programmes it used to be around $25 per day for my kids.

    cool idea for bvi

    Like 11
  3. negatively speaking says:

    More poison fishes will be created

    Like 2
    Dislike 12
  4. Call me Ishmael says:

    We live in an island. Every child should be required to become a proficient swimmer. In fact, we should encourage every child to pass the senior life saving exam.

    Like 19
    • PE says:

      It should be part of the primary school physical education program. Every male and female by the time they reach 10 years old should know how to swim.

      Mr. Minister of Education and Culture?

  5. Snorkelers too says:

    It would be a great idea to locate the shark plane in an area that snorkelers can easily see as well as snuba divers.

  6. Nonsense says:

    What a daft idea to dispose of wreckage who is going to pay to dive and swim round the old Willy T boat which wasn’t anything like a pirate ship but a party boat with poor over priced food?

    Like 1
    Dislike 4
    • Jane says:

      @Nonsense: I take it you don’t dive? So that you understand, an artificial reef will immediately attract sealife as fish like to hide from predators (this will take only a few days or weeks) and then over years hard and soft corals will grow. A large vessel like the old Willy T will indeed be a “must see” site. The bow section of HMS Rhone is no longer penetrable, so divers are missing the fun of going inside a large wreck here and this new site will provide that opportunity. Willy T is part of modern BVI history, and it is fitting that it ends its days continuing to provide a lot of fun (and earning money) for the Territory.

      Like 6
      Dislike 1

Leave a Comment