Coast guard ship was sunk for diving tourism

7th, 2012
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The ex-coastguard vessel the ‘SG 121’ was finally sunk in the Gulf of Fethiye. The 42 metre ship was towed out to Dalyan Deresi which is situated along the coast approximately half way between Fethiye and Ölüdeniz, and it will hopefully be the largest artificial reef project to date. The theory behind the sinking of the SG 121 is to improve the tourism diving industry in the area. Fethiye Governor Mehmet Ali Karatekeli, Marmaris Coast Guard Group Commander Colonel Fatih Erhan, Ölüdeniz Mayor Keramettin Yılmaz, Fethiye Harbour Master Galip Avcı, Chairman of the Chamber of Maritime Şaban Arıkan and representatives of the diving school were present at the sinking ceremony which was held in the boat carrying protocol. Local fishing boats accompanied by a few boats full of spectators were there, too.
The stern flood valve was opened and approximately in 40 minutes she finally dropped to the bottom of the sea. During the process, Coast Guard helicopter flew low over the sea as the band of Fethiye Municipality performed. Some musicians also performed their songs as the vessel is going down.
Chair of Fethiye Under Sea Association Mehtap Çelikok said that the sunk vessel will be very important in spreading tourism to 12 months. She also emphasized that the ship is free of all material harmful to organisms under water. “This was our dream as diving schools, and now it comes true. The vessel was cleared off all glass wool, fiber and plastic materials harmful to underwater life forms.”
Fethiye Governor Mehmet Ali Karatekeli said that this will improve the diving tourism which is an important part of alternative tourism.
The history of the SG 121.
TCSG-121 was built in 1967 in the Golcuk Naval Shipyard and was put into service as part of the Turkish Coast Guard Fleet & served under the command of the Gendarme General Command until 1982. Same year, it was incorporated by the Coast Guard. As part of the main Coast Guard fleet, it served for 15 years. It then was removed from the inventory in 1997 at the region of Hopa / Artvin. The vessel was donated in 2007 to Fethiye governor . The ship weighs 150 tons, its length is 40.2m and has a width of 6.4m. Economic speed is 14 knots with a maximum of 20 knots.

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