An Australian frigate will be sunk off Terrigal on the New South Wales Central Coast to form an artificial reef.

Yesterday, the commonwealth handed over its decommissioned frigate HMAS Adelaide to the New South Wales government. HMAS Adelaide served the Royal Australian Navy for 27 years, participating in operations such as the Gulf War of 1991 and the East Timor peace-keeping mission of 1999. It has picked up capsized yachtsmen in the Southern Sea as well as rescued asylum seekers from a sinking ship.

I think this is a great project, I’m very confident we’ll see HMAS Adelaide become a great national, and I suspect international, attraction for recreational divers […],” said Defence Minister John Faulkner.

NSW Premier Nathan Rees agrees with Faulkner.

Coral will grow on the metal you see before you, fish will swim through the corridors that once rang with the sound of action stations,” he said. “And divers will find a place of contemplation and beauty as nature slowly reclaims her broken frame.”

The federal government will contribute up to 5.8 million AUS to make the ship is safe before it’s sunk.