When the Mexican Navy sank their former patrol boat ARM Uribe (P121) in shallow water off Rosarita, Mexico last November for use as a reef, they filmed the event in detail.
The Uribe was a 220-foot offshore patrol vessel built in 1982 and mounted a single 40mm Bofors up front and a few machine guns for when local narco boats and fish poachers didn’t want to stop and be boarded. Retired in 2013 at the end of her useful life, she was stripped and cleaned for preparation as an artificial reef to both benefit local tourism and fisheries stocks.
The charges go off with an underwhelming and not very Hollywood series of muted “bangs” accompanied by sparks and a puff of smoke, then, with building suspense, the first water starts to find its way into the stricken vessel, soon engulfing it in a blue-green avalanche of unstoppable ocean. You see the ship race 95 short feet through the water in less than a minute, steel groaning in protest to its final resting place on the floor of the Gulf of California where it lands with a crunch and settles.
Instant reef and new addition to Davy Jones’ locker.