Sunken treasures

By Judy Reimche
Peninsula News Review

Aug 02 2006

You'll have to don a wet suit to see them

As Reg Teeney, Ryan Teeney and Derek Sayers unloaded the massive concrete underwater condominiums off the truck on Friday, the common question from passers by was "What are they?"

The 150 reef balls coming off the truck were lifted by crane to the deck of Beacon Wharf, in preparation for the next leg of their journey. On Sunday, the cranes, donated by Ramsey Machine Works, were busy again, with crane operator Gene Ooms safely lifting the reef balls onto a barge to be sunk around Bevan Pier.

As the work began, a small crowd gathered on the Pier to watch. "They'll have enough inspectors to make sure the job is done right," quipped one on-looker.

The Canadian Pacific Fleet Diving unit, volunteered divers Rob Duproy (instructor/trainer), Rob Clawson, Gord Gibbons, Phil Henry and Bob McConnell to offer their experience. Advanced Sub Sea Services of Sidney volunteers included Murray Mackay, Jason Galvin and Dave Stanfield who provided all the technical dive gear, boat and equipment to make the diving safe.

Once they were lowered to the sea floor, Doug Rogers of Trincomali Transport was the man who safely placed all the reef balls to the ocean floor - without damaging one, according to Darryl Harasemow of Liquid Heaven Diving Experience. Harasemow was one of the people who organized the job of getting the reef balls to the site.

"We're very thankful to Seaquest Adventures for allowing the use of their dock to move divers to and from," he said. "And we owe a special thanks to the Alpine Group on Beacon Avenue for being patient for three days on the removal of the reef balls from their driveway."

The new reef balls will join the artificial reef already in place on the ocean floor along side Bevan Pier. The original reef has been in place since the Pier was first constructed.

The balls provide a habitat for sea life, enriching the watery home of all creatures and plant life living there. Sidney's original reef ball habitat was the winner of an international award several years ago.

"The biggest thank you has to go to Reg Teeney for the incredible effort, support and young spirit he has that drives us all to make Sidney BC the best destination town in the world to experience," Harasemow said.

As for Teeney, he smiled, content to see this next step in the project coming to completion. It has been a long time in the planning.

Next will be the creation of an underwater dive park that will be sunk between the T section of Bevan Pier and the shore. Plans are for a variety of structures to be sunk there, including, possibly, one of the Snowbird planes that are about to be replaced, a boat and a statue.

© Copyright 2006 Peninsula News Review