A decommissioned 1960s aircraft carrier that has been floating offshore for three months since Turkey refused entry to be scrapped there will be sunk in the Atlantic Ocean in waters under Brazil’s jurisdiction, Brazil’s navy said Wednesday.
The 32,000-tonne Sao Paulo tanker had been towed to Europe by a tug, but failed to make it past the Strait of Gibraltar and was returned across the Atlantic after Turkey determined it posed an environmental hazard.
The navy said in a statement that the ship is taking on water and is in danger of sinking, so it is not allowed to dock in Brazilian ports.
Despite a request from Environment Minister Marina Silva not to sink the aircraft carrier, the Navy said it had no choice but to sink the ship in water about 5,000 meters (16,400 feet) deep, 350 kilometers (217 miles) off the coast in Brazil’s exclusive economic zone. .
The site is far from environmental protection areas and is free of submarine communications cables, the Navy statement said.
“Given the deteriorating buoyancy and the inevitability of uncontrolled sinking, there is no option but to jettison the hull and sink it in a planned manner,” he said.
The navy planned to sink the aircraft carrier at sea on Wednesday, but prosecutors tried to stop the sinking in Brazilian waters, citing environmental threats, including tons of asbestos used for the panels on the inside of the ship. the ship.
A federal judge denied their request for an injunction Wednesday afternoon, arguing that the Navy had weighed the environmental impact against other factors.
The Clemenceau-class aircraft carrier served with the French Navy from 1963 to 2000 as the Foch, capable of carrying 40 aircraft on board.