Since the beginning of the colonization period in Brazil, Pernambuco had numerous ships sunk on its coast. Some wrecks occurred due to fighting in the region, others for some malfunction of the boat. Recently, however, the government has been provoking deliberate wrecks on the Pernambuco coast to increase the tourism potential of diving. Along the 187.5 kilometers of the coast of Pernambuco, it is estimated that there have been 300 shipwrecks since the colonial period. Of these, over 110 are already listed, and researchers and adventurers have visited 25.
For example, in February 2017, four ships were sunk off the coast of Recife, becoming part of the Pernambuco Artificial Wrecks Park program. But the last acquisition for the park was the two vessel wrecks in Tamandaré coast, on the southern littoral of the State, in September 2019. They became part of the fantastic submerged universe of colonial historical ships, wheel vapors, tugs, and corvettes.
The new sags raised from 18 to 20 the number of boats that function as artificial reefs in the Park, intended for both diving programs and environmental preservation. The pioneering work of local diving enthusiasts, allied with researchers interested in the conservation of marine life, has resulted in the gradual deployment of what is the first park of artificial wrecks in Latin America.
With this big touristic attraction, the region became the Meca of the professional divers. Among the experts, the island of Fernando de Noronha (Pernambuco's territory) is the best diving destination in the country due to the waters' clarity. Recife stands out as the Brazilian capital of the wrecks. Recife has a large number of unidentified underwater archaeological sites, in addition to the 27 already known and visited by an increasing number of divers. In Recife, the average water temperature is 27ºC, and the visibility varies between 20 and 30 meters.
In Recife, there are currently four diving operators, who offer courses regularly. One of them is the JeDivers group, which works in the neighborhood of Pina, next to the Boa Viagem Beach. The average cost for the starting "baptism" that includes two dives is R$ 450 (more or less 100 euros). To be a certified diver, you need to take the course and theoretical and practical classes that include a test at the end. For this, the average cost is R$ 1500 (330 euros).
One of the most famous legends in Pernambuco is that of the Galleon Santa Rosa, a Portuguese vessel that sank in September 1726, filled with gold chests that were taken from the colony back to Portugal. More realistic estimates indicate that the equivalent of US $ 120 million sank with the ship, which departed from the city of Salvador. The accident was reported to have occurred on the southern coast of Pernambuco.
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