The Xihuw Boeing 737 Artificial Reef
|Size:||Length: 30 metres (100 feet), wingspan 30 metres (100 feet)
Weight: 30 tons
|Sinking date:||January 14, 2006|
|Location:||Stuart Channel, just off Chemainus
Co-ordinates: 48° 56.142' N, 123° 43.130' W
B.C.'s First Airplane Artificial Reef!
The Xihuw (pronounced key' quot) artificial reef is a decommissioned Boeing 737-200 airframe which was donated by Qwest Airparts Ltd. of Memphis, Tennessee, thanks to the efforts of Air Canada. "Xihuw" is the Hul'qumi'num word for Red Sea Urchin, which used to live in abundance in these waters, but whose population has dwindled due to pollution and over-fishing. Mounted on 11-foot high support stands, she was lowered by crane just off Chemainus, on Vancouver Island, on Saturday January 14, 2006.
It all started with a phone call "out of the blue" from Fraser MacLean of Air Canada, in November 2002. Air Canada had a Boeing 737 which was being de-commissioned, and, having seen the coverage of the HMCS Cape Breton sinking, asked if we be interested in acquiring it to sink. Had we known the roller-coaster ride it would lead us on, we might not have so eagerly said yes! The Xihuw had a turbulent ride, having considered sites in Vancouver, Sechelt, Courtenay/Comox, and Victoria. She finally ending up in Chemainus, thanks to the incredible community support garnered by Peter Luckham, owner of 49th Parallel Diving.