How to dispose of a 266 meter floating wreck?
Easy: leaving it 350km from the coast, 5000 meters deep. This is what the Brazilian Navy has decided, consciously and completely ignoring the environmental risks that arise.
After revealing, for the first time, that the ship would be sunk, a company from Saudi Arabia made a purchase proposal worth 30 million reais. The Navy postponed the operation by a few days, but last Friday, after years of attempts to dismantle it, displacements and threats of abandonment, the Brazilian solution was to entrust the aircraft carrier “São Paulo” to the seabed, with all the toxic materials it contains and with which it was made, which according to environmental NGOs will cause irreparable damage to life in the sea.
The decision was motivated by the fact that, given the critical state of the ship and the deterioration of the hull that would compromise the buoyancy of the aircraft carrier, it would not be possible to guarantee safe transport to another country. Not only the Navy decided to sink the ship, but also the Brazilian Ministry of Defense participated in the project.
The environmental associations speak of “toxic package of 30 thousand tons”. Greenpeace, Sea Shepherd and the Basel Action Network have denounced a violation of three international treaties on the environment, declaring in a joint declaration that this sinking “will cause untold damage with impacts on marine life and coastal communities”.
Although defense officials said they would sink the ship in the “safest area”, the decision was enough to trigger criticism for tons of asbestos, heavy metals and other materials that could pollute the marine food chain. Official data on sunken ships reveal that there are already more than eight thousand potentially polluting wrecks in the seas, including 1,500 tankers. Most of the wreckage dates back to World War II and, in addition to other materials, would contain between 2.5 and 20 million tons of oil that could escape due to the corrosive effects of a decades-long dive.