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"Tragic and regrettable": the former French aircraft carrier Foch was sunk in the Atlantic


The Brazilian navy confirmed on Friday evening that the former aircraft carrier, very degraded and described as a "floating dump" by the associations

The Brazilian Navy announced on Friday that it had sunk the former Foch aircraft carrier filled with asbestos, paint and other toxic waste in the Atlantic Ocean, a decision criticized by several environmental organizations.

The “planned and controlled sinking occurred in the late afternoon” on Friday, some 350 km off the Brazilian coast, in an area “approximately 5,000 meters deep,” the navy said in a statement. .

Earlier in the week, she had felt that she had no other choice given the very degraded state of this old 266-meter-long hull, described as "toxic package of 30,000 tons" by the Robin des Bois association.

“Faced with the risks involved in towing and because of the deterioration of the hull (…), the only solution is to abandon the hull by sinking it in a controlled manner”, explained the navy on Wednesday in a joint press release with the Brazilian Ministry of Defense.

Read also "Foch" aircraft carrier sunk in the Atlantic: the cursed retirement, until the end

The Federal Public Ministry of Brazil (MPF), which tried to stop the operation by multiplying the appeals to the courts, warned of the consequences, stressing this week that the aircraft carrier "currently contains 9.6 tons of asbestos, a potentially toxic and carcinogenic substance, as well as 644 tonnes of inks and other hazardous materials”.

“Unavoidable” damage

There is a “risk of serious environmental damage (…) in particular because the hull is damaged”, argued the public prosecutor.

Same story on the side of the environmental NGOs Greenpeace, Sea Shepherd and Basel Action Network, which denounced "a violation of three international treaties" on the environment.

This sinking will cause “incalculable” damage, with “impacts on marine life and coastal communities” they decried in a joint statement.

Preventing this operation would be "probably" "unnecessary", given "the imminence of a spontaneous sinking of the hull, which would not benefit the environment and would be likely to endanger the lives of the crew involved. in towing, ”wrote the judge of the federal court of the state of Pernambuco (northeast), according to the G1 website.

The magistrate authorized the operation although he considered it a “tragic and regrettable” solution, according to G1.

An area some 350 km off the Brazilian coast, 5,000 meters deep, was considered "the safest" for this scuttling, according to the press release from the Brazilian Ministry of Defense and Navy.

Source: leparis

All life articles on 2023-02-04

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