The sea in Coronavirus times: the marvel of the sea coming back to life
A diving expedition explored the wreckage of the Haven to see how stopping human activities favoured repopulation of the sea
A unique experience was had by the divers who went diving during the lockdown. Only a few months interrupting human activities were needed so that nature reclaimed its spaces and the marine environment and the sea became crystal clear, like it should be when the large propellers of the ships don’t stir up sediment from the sea floor.
A singular experience that the divers, led by Andrea Bada enjoyed thanks to a scientific and cinematographic project carried out in partnership with Marina Militare Italiana, the Port Authority of Genoa and the multimedia production company, E-motion. The objective of the mission was to document the effects that stopping human activities because of the Coronavirus emergency had on the sea.
The team, in addition to Andrea Bada, a proper Indiana Jones of the sea, who has already been featured by Liguria Nautica, was also made up of the technical diving experts, Andrea Mescalchi and Ivano Predari. In order to collect this precious information, the divers chose two famous wrecks of the Tyhrrenian Sea.
The first wreck was the Haven tanker: an enormous container ship flying the Cyprus flag which sank in the Gulf of Genoa on 11 April 1991. While sinking, as we all remember, it caused an ecological disaster when it spewed tonnes of oil into the sea. Now the supertanker on the sea floor at a depth of 80 metres, is one of the most coveted diving locations by hobbyist divers and the perfect gym for technical divers who specialise in mixed-gas diving. Easy to reach by boat from the port of Arenzano, the Haven has rightly been classified by Liguria Nautica as one of the best dives in Europe.
The second wreck chosen by the E-motion project was the German submarine U 455, just off Punta Chiappa. This is a dive for the few because the submarine, which sank on 6 August 1944, is at 118 metres deep and required 3 hours of decompression for the diving team. The video filmed, however, notes the Genoese filming company, was worth the effort and hard work in the venture.
The marine biologists guaranteed this as well, who saw it and spoke to the papers about it as an “exciting voyage in time”, which opened a window on how the seas must have been like at the beginning of the last century. A miracle which happened only with a few months of stopping nautical and industrial activities. The sea, but we could also say, the planet, has revealed an unexpected ability of reacting as soon as we, human beings, have given it the time to do so.