The diving communities of 4 provinces carry out this project that they hope to complete in 2022, for the 40 years of the war. The idea came from Las Grutas, through Cota Cero, and includes Puerto Madryn, Ushuaia and Mar del Plata.
Sinking ships that participated in the Malvinas War, to make a tourist-historical diving corridor between Mar del Plata and Ushuaia, began to take shape and they hope to achieve it next year, for the 40th anniversary of the Falklands feat. It is an initiative of diving clubs, schools and operators from Las Grutas, Puerto Madryn, Ushuaia and Mar del Plata.
The idea is to sink with honors at least four of the ships that the Navy has out of service for dismantling and that they become artificial reefs for the practice of tourist diving, as is the case in many countries, but in this case with the addition of memory of the deed of 1982, to form the first underwater park, called “Corredor Histórico Malvinas Argentina”.
From Río Negro, the Minister of Tourism, Martha Vélez, told this agency that the province is leading the work team, because this arises from a group of diving schools, organizations and fundamentally by Cota Cero, which is the association that operates in Las Grutas.
“This,” he continued, “echoed the mayor (of San Antonio Oeste, Adrián Casadei), the governor (Arabela Carreras) and from that place we began to seek a synergy of work in conjunction with the other provinces of Patagonia and invited the province of Buenos Aires, because Mar del Plata would participate ”.
One of the operators of the Las Grutas underwater park, Claudio Barbieri, who chairs the Cota Cero Association, explained that the idea arose during the pandemic, because “we live from this and we were thinking about how to generate new alternatives and offers of underwater tourism, which here it is conjugated with recent history ”.
Vélez stressed that the project “is very emblematic because they are ships that participated in the feat”, and “ports that have had a large component of participation in everything that was the Malvinas War were chosen” and clarified that “it is something that It deeply sinks all Argentines because here there is no crack in the Malvinas issue ”.
Stages of the project
On the steps to follow, he said that a document is being prepared with the stages that should be fulfilled to finalize the project, which will be presented to the Minister of Tourism and Sports, Matías Lammens, during the next meeting of the Federal Tourism Council, on the 23rd. this month in San Miguel de Tucumán.
Then there will come “the transversal work between the Ministries of Tourism and Sports and Defense, because the ships belong to the Navy” and it is this portfolio that must approve the operation, Velez explained.
In this regard, he added that “the Navy has all the logistics to be able to develop and carry out this project; not only the preparation of the ships but also the transfers and sinking works, which require a lot of meticulousness, where different actors intervene, and the entire operative part of the sinking ”.
Barbieri pointed out that “between Mar del Plata and Bahía Blanca there are about 12 or 14 ships with historical value, and many are occupying a place that they (the Navy) need for the new ships that were bought”, and although they do not work, they maintain crews and maintenance, so “this would be a relief for everyone, but above all the fundamental objective is to keep the Malvinas deed alive”.
The minister announced that before the end of the year another fishing boat will be sunk in the underwater park that exists in front of Las Grutas and stressed that these artificial reefs concentrate sports, tourism and ecology.
“We want to value that and do historical tourism, generating awareness through tourism, both ecologically and also of historical events, especially for the new generations who may not have it very clear,” added Barbieri.
The diver said that “the objective of working together, which is so difficult for us Argentines, and thus bring together four diving communities, four provinces, the Nation, different ministries and the Argentine Navy, seemed tempting and worth the effort. worth the effort ”.