Folkstone Marine Park

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Posted by Monique in Living in Barbados on April 10th, 2010

Folkestone Marine Park is located on the West coast of Barbados and is home to an artificial reef which has been formed by the sinking of the ship Stavronikita. This ship rests in 120 feet of water, is relatively close to the shore and is an excellent spot for scuba divers and snorkelers alike to explore the reefs and most often have the pleasure of swimming with the turtles.

A bit about this shipwreck by Tropical Welcome:

The Stav is the most popular wreck in Barbados waters. She was a 365 foot Greek freighter built in Denmark in 1956 and originally christened the Ohio. On August 26, 1976, while en route from Ireland to the Caribbean and carrying a cargo of 101,000 bags of cement, the vessel caught fire, killing six crew members and injuring three others.

An explosion that followed the fire destroyed all of the ship’s radio equipment, making it impossible for the stranded crew to call for help. Twenty four crewmen drifted in the open sea for four days before being rescued. The Stavronikita was then towed to Barbados.

A year went by, and the vessel was still anchored off Carlisle Bay, Barbados. On October 24, 1977 , she was purchased at an auction for the sum of $30,000 by the Parks and Beach Commission.

The ship was then stripped of all the machinery and brass that could be salvaged.

She was also cleaned of pollutants, namely the 70,000 gallons of oil being carried in her fuel tanks and towed to a spot just 400 yards offshore on the west coast of the island. On November 21,1978, the U.S. Navy demolition crew set seven charges totaling 200 pounds and blew holes in the ship’s hull, causing her to sink.
This area is also referred to as Church Point and can be a surfer’s dream when the North swells start rolling in onto the West coast.

Also on these grounds is a recreational park and playground, where you will find many local Bajans picnicking on any given Sunday.