“Hey darling, I’ve found the ship!”
An ex-New Zealand warship was definitely not what Wilma Adams expected to see on her husband Paul’s laptop screen.
Formerly HMNZS Manawanui, the boat was a Royal New Zealand Navy dive tender which popped up online when Mr. Adams was on the hunt for a new toy to dock in his hometown of Newcastle. The 44 metre-long ship cost ‘a few hundred thousand dollars’ and features a decompression chamber, a diving bell and a crane for heavy lifting.
However bizarre the purchase might seem, it wasn’t an impulsive retirement mistake. The couple actually has a mission of their own to preserve sunken vessels throughout the South Pacific ocean that are leaking oil into the ecosystem.
“Buying the ship was just the beginning,” said Paul.
“There’s a time bomb waiting to happen right through the Pacific – about 3000 wrecks out there. 300 of those were oil tankers. They are at the bottom of the ocean, and they are starting to leak.”