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Brazil sank an aircraft carrier in the Atlantic Ocean due to asbestos contamination


The Brazilian Navy announced that it sank the former aircraft carrier Foch, which was polluted with asbestos, paint and other toxic waste, in the Atlantic waters, a decision criticized by environmental organizations.

The navy said in a statement that the planned dumping operation took place under supervision yesterday afternoon, about 350 km from the coast of Brazil, in an area with a depth of about 5,000 meters.

The Navy announced earlier that it had no choice in view of the very dilapidated condition of this old ship, which is 266 meters long.

The Federal Public Prosecution Office in Brazil, which tried to stop the operation, warned of the severe repercussions of the incident, because the aircraft carrier contained 9.6 tons of asbestos, a toxic substance that may cause cancer, in addition to 644 tons of ink and other dangerous materials.

She added, “There is a risk of serious damage to the environment, especially since the structure is damaged.”

Environmental non-governmental organizations issued the same warnings, including Greenpeace, Sea Shepherd and Basel Action Network. In a joint statement, these organizations denounced the violation of three international treaties, stressing that this process will cause immeasurable damage to marine life and coastal communities.

Brazil had bought the aircraft carrier in 2000, and it was built at the end of the fifties in the “Saint-Nazaire” shipyard in western France, and it was for 37 years within the French Navy.

The Sok Deniglik basin for ship recycling bought the aircraft carrier in April 2021 to take advantage of the steel in it, but he was threatening to abandon it because he was unable to find a port to receive it, and in June 2022 he obtained permission to transfer it to Turkey for dismantling, but the Turkish environmental authorities announced that the ship is not. Welcome, so Brazil decided to return her and did not allow her to dock due to the aggravation of damage to her hull, until she was disposed of by scuttling her.

• 9.6 tons of asbestos and 644 tons of ink and other dangerous materials were contained in the ship.