Liberty Wreck Cyprus

Liberty Wreck Cyprus – Liberty Marine Park in Protaras Cyprus


LIBERTY WRECK CYPRUS 23rd May 2009 This is the first of new wrecks to be purposely sunk for scuba tourism in Cyprus, deeply inspirational. The wreck will be located in the Protaras area, with easy access from the shore, no boats needed. That what was promised? The area will also be closed for boat traffic, making this an environmental marine fish reserve. It will also attract has an abundance of marine life (18 – 20 metres) for qualified divers only, in a area ideally suited for marine life to prosper? Diving the Liberty Wreck Pernera Cyprus

Diving the Liberty Wreck Protaras Cyprus
Diving the Liberty Wreck Protaras Cyprus

The long anticipated wait amongst all the dive schools liberty wreck cyprus on the East Coast of Cyprus, Protaras has now ended.

27th May 2009. The Liberty Wreck has been Officially (By The Government) A 200 metre circumference of the wreck is out of bounds to ALL. The Paralimni Municipality Deemed it SAFE but not the Government and the Fisheries Department the Government body in charge of the waters around cyprus. For the past 12 months Protaras has been promised the Wreck of our lives that will encourage diving tourism from all around the World to come and dive the exceptional Wreck!

The ‘Liberty Wreck’ is a ‘Small
Rusty’ Russian cargo ship
The ‘Liberty Wreck’ is a ‘Small Rusty’ Russian cargo ship in Cyprus
Liberty Wreck Protaras – Shallow Dive with Slight Current

In the last few years many tourist have flocked to artificial reefs in the Mediterranean. Countries like Malta, Spain, Turkey and Now Cyprus. The dive centres in Protaras were very excited with the mention of the Liberty Wreck, New Dive Site for all of us where fish can prosper and grow. Many dive centres feel very let down and disappointed that our Paralimni Municipality would provide us a wreck for tourism… Now in comparison to the most amazing Wreck in the Mediterranean, The ZENOBIA – (the World’s top 4th Wreck). The ‘Liberty Wreck’ is a ‘Small Rusty’ Russian cargo ship with a length of 37m and a width of 7m. What does this have to offer experienced divers? The main part of the Wreck (The Bridge) this would have made a Great swim through, it has been removed prior to the sinking, so what are we left with? The rusty shell (Hull)! It has been sunk on a sandy bottom at 24m.

Who will this Wreck benefit?
Who will this Wreck benefit?
Small wreck outside the Golden Coast Pernara, Protaras Cyprus


The Liberty Wreck is one kilometre from the shores and could be dived in probably less than 10 minutes. Also being placed on a sandy bottom, with no rocks in the area to see, with the only benefit, it could provide a shelter for marine life. Nothing more in or around to see apart from the brown rust of the ships under side and some port holes and entrances (hatches) into the ship’s Hull. If this is the Joint efforts of our municipality and our governments, to promote tourism in our Cyprus, I would like to see what they have planned for the Underwater Marine Parks! Who will this Wreck benefit? Do Divers really want to go to the expense of paying for a boat ride to have a 10 minute dive?

The Liberty Wreck could be dived in probably less than 10 minutes.The Liberty Wreck Cyprus could be dived in probably less than 10 minutes.

The sinking location will not encourage marine life, why? Because of the sandy bottom it’s been laid to rest on! Marine life need nutrients – sand and rust do not provide this. It will take years for algae and for a substantial food chain to start thriving. Until then divers, snorkelers have nothing to see except pile of rusting junk at 24m.


The people most to benefit are the glass bottom boats that will take the original route to show the tourist the famous ‘Famagusta Ghost Town’ and maybe stop to show the Wreck at the bottom of the sea! Wreck diving is meant to be fun and thrilling, to experience history undersea, what history does the Liberty Wreck in Cyprus offer? It has been stripped to reveal a shell that does not tell a story or excite the diving community in cyprus. It will not provide us with a piece of history! It will not provide us any marine life in Cyprus! It is just a pile of rust polluting junk that has been disposed of by the local governments with the most common term to use,


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More Articles from Local News and Radio. NOT DUMPING IN OUR BACK YARD! Protaras, Cyprus

The absence of a clear-cut national policy on tourism has proven once again that the Minister of Trade and Tourism, as well as the state tourism board, are powerless and cannot react to problems that arise, such as the issue of jurisdiction over the sinking of a boat near Paralimni in order to develop sea diving. But out of every problem arises an opportunity, or so the saying goes. Although the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources is responsible for the safekeeping of our environment, whether on land or in the sea, it was left out of the decision to sink a small ship, which the local community now says will benefit the diving industry. On the other hand, the hotel enterprises owners’ association, STEK, criticised the government for not implementing parts of the (ill-fated) tourism master plan that called for the creation of at least four “diving parks” of the coast of Cyprus. Among the 50 or so diving sites Cyprus has to offer, only two are of significant vessels, the Vera K off Paphos and the Zenobia near Larnaca, that have in time acquired their own sub aquatic culture suitable and attractive to divers. However, it is ironic that with so many diving centres and shops dotted around the island, Cyprus does not offer itself as a diving destination. Local divers take time off and seek to snorkel or deep see dive in the coral reefs and the warm, crystal clear waters of the Red Sea, the India Ocean and South East Asia. Cyprus cannot offer such perfect diving conditions, but it can develop what the tourism industry is calling “diving parks” that will ultimately cost the state almost nothing to maintain (nature will do it for you), but with tremendous benefits to the tourism industry and specifically to the accommodation, entertainment and professional services provided by the island’s PADI-qualified diving centres. Undersea visits to sunken archaeological sites and swimming with the living inhabitants of the underwater world could open up new prospects for tourism. This is a boom area that needs very little to develop. And with the right cooperation with the various marine and environmental departments, Cyprus could very soon find itself as a hot spot on the world diving map.

Editorial: The sunken ship of Cyprus tourism

June 05, 2009 – Financial Mirror

Paralimni mayor insists Liberty sinking was legal

By Anna Hassapi

‘We’ve been planning this for months and no one said a thing’ PARALIMNI Mayor Andreas Evangelou yesterday defended the decision to sink the Liberty in order to create a diving attraction, blasting the statement issued by the Ministry of Agriculture that called the sinking illegal and dangerous. According to Evangelou, the sinking was perfectly legal and took place openly, in the knowledge of the Merchant Shipping Department, the Port Authority and the CTO. “What we did was not illegal in any way and was done openly, in the presence of 200 people and the knowledge and approval of the Department of Merchant Shipping and the CTO. ” I cannot understand why all these accusations were voiced – they just seem out of place. I repeat: everything was legal and I am preparing a letter to the Director of the Ministry of Agriculture requesting explanations,” Evangelou told the Cyprus Mail The CTO yesterday issued a statement backing Evangelou’s claims. “The CTO congratulates Paralimni Municipality for its efforts to enrich marine life and the creation of areas of interest for diving tourism. The Liberty is the first materialisation in Cyprus of the legal effort to create an artificial reef. “The metal vessel that has a length of 36.6m was placed at a depth of approximately 20m after a full check, disarmament and cleaning; what was broadcast in the news was completely false particularly that it had ‘electric wiring, pipes and ropes’ or anything else that could create pollution or any kind of danger,” said Glafkos Kariolou, CTO Representative at the Central Beach Committee. The statement issued by the Fisheries Department on May 23, the day after the Liberty was sunk, heavily criticised the move and claimed that the municipality had not been granted the necessary licence. “The Municipality of Paralimni, which is the owner of the ship, has not followed any of the necessary procedures and as a result there is, among other, a danger to the lives of divers. The vessel was sunk without removing the electronic wires, the ropes or the pipes. As a result the Fisheries Department has reported the case to the police,” the statement read. “The sinking took place skilfully in the correct way. Expert information was offered to us free of charge by top ranking military and navy officers, whose names cannot be disclosed. We removed the petrol, the engine, the wires, the paint and anything else that could cause a problem,” replied Evangelou. As confirmed by the Fisheries Department, the municipality was in the process of acquiring the relevant licence and had prematurely moved to the sinking. The municipality had bought the vessel at an auction that took place six months ago for €12,000 with the intention of using it to create a man-made reef at Protaras. The municipality also completed a formal bidding process for the contract to tow the boat from Limassol to the spot where it would be sunk. The contract was assigned to a Larnaca-based company for €27,000. Evangelou, however, claimed that the vessel was in such a bad condition that it was going to sink while being towed from Limassol to Paralimni. “After the request of the Port Authority to remove it from the entrance of Limassol Port, we brought it up and towed it to Paralimni. The ship, however, was in bad condition and water kept coming in. It was bound to sink and we did not want it to sink uncontrollably in a beach frequented by people,” he said. “We had two options on where to take it: the Nisia area and the Ayia Triada area. We chose the latter, where an ancient shipwreck used to lie, and sank it at a depth of 24m. We speeded up the sinking so that it was done in the correct way,” he added. Evangelou also claimed that authorities had been wasting time in dealing with this case. “What have they been doing all these months? They move at a snail’s pace and it was going to sink on its own and they wouldn’t even know. “We bought the vessel six months ago and have since been in contact with the Department of Commercial Shipping, the CTO, and the Director of the Ministry of Agriculture.” Diving the Liberty LAST FRIDAY at 4.30pm the Liberty made her final voyage from Limassol to the Protaras/Pernera area and at 8.30pm local time, with Famagusta in the background, the 37m cargo ship sank to her final resting place at the bottom of the Mediterranean, at a depth of 24 metres. The sinking of new wreck will hopefully attract an abundance of new marine life to our shores and also provide a fantastic new training ground with easy access for divers on the island. The Liberty wreck was a 226 tonne Russian cargo ship that used to carry frozen cargo from port to port. It is approximately 37 metres in length with a width of around seven metres. Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2009 Velvet Classic – Cyprus radio station – News from Cyprus

Cyprus Mail

‘Touch the ship and have you hands cut off’

By Nathan Morley (archive article – Wednesday, October 28, 2009) THE MAYOR of Paralimni has lashed out in a furious outburst at a government plan to raise the wreck of a boat he ordered to be scuttled off the coast of Protaras. Mayor Andreas Evangelou threatened to ‘cut the hands’ of anyone who touches the Liberty ship after the Fisheries Department issued a tender to have the wreck, a former Russian cargo ship, raised. “They’ll have their hands cut if they touch the ship. Please understand that this ship is now in the jurisdiction of Paralimni Municipality,” he added. The Fisheries Department insist vessel was illegally sunk by Paralimni Municipality, which they claim, did not meet proposed safety and environmental requirements. The threat shocked staff at the Fisheries Department, who heavily criticised the sinking and claim that the municipality had not been granted the necessary licence. Head of the Fisheries Department Loizos Loizides told the Cyprus Mail that the tender process had been opened and he expected work to raise the ship to begin next year. “As a ministry we have to apply the law and according to existing legislation and the sinking of wrecks in order to create reefs has a regulated procedure to be followed, including the cleaning of the vessel and a study to find the best place to sink the vessel,” he said. Loizides confirmed the municipality was in the process of acquiring the relevant licence when they prematurely sunk the ship. “Our procedure was not followed by the owners of the Liberty which is Paralimni Municipality and we don’t accept this. We have consulted the Attorney General and we also have a case pending against them on this matter.” The tenders, which must meet an estimated budget of €50,000, must cover the raising, cleaning and re-sinking of the Liberty. The municipality bought the vessel at an auction late last year for €12,000 with the intention of using it to create a man-made reef at Protaras. Evangelou has continually defended the decision to sink the Liberty in order to create a diving attraction, saying everything was perfectly legal and took place openly, in the knowledge of the Merchant Shipping Department, the Port Authority and the CTO. Loizides refused to be drawn on the outburst of Evangelou, saying that he enjoyed a ‘good relationship’ with Paralimni council, despite the Liberty matter. The mayor of Paralimni was unavailable for comment last night. Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2009

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