Brazilian Navy says it will sink ‘ghost’ aircraft carrier at sea

( — A decommissioned aircraft carrier from the 1960s that has been floating on the high seas for three months since Turkey denied it entry to be scrapped there will be sunk in the Atlantic Ocean in waters under Brazilian jurisdiction, the Brazilian navy said Wednesday.

The 32,000-ton aircraft carrier Sao Paulo had been towed by a tugboat to Europe but failed to pass the Strait of Gibraltar and was returned across the Atlantic after Turkey decided it was an environmental hazard.

The Brazilian Navy said in a statement that the ship is taking on water and is at risk of sinking, so it has not been allowed to dock in Brazilian ports.

Despite a request by Environment Minister Marina Silva not to sink the carrier, the Navy said it had no choice but to sink the ship at a depth of about 5,000 meters (16,400 feet) at 350 kilometers (217 miles). from the coast within the exclusive economic zone of Brazil.

The site is far from environmental protection areas and free of undersea communication cables, the Navy statement said.

“Given her deteriorating buoyant condition and the inevitability of uncontrolled sinking, there is no other option than to dispose of the hull and sink it in a planned manner,” he said.

The Navy had planned to sink the carrier at sea on Wednesday, but prosecutors tried to stop the sinking in Brazilian waters citing the environmental threat it poses, including the tons of asbestos used for paneling inside the ship.

On Wednesday afternoon, a federal judge denied his request for injunction, arguing that the Navy had weighed the environmental impact against other factors.

The Clemenceau-class aircraft carrier served the French Navy from 1963 to 2000 under the name Foch, and was capable of carrying 40 aircraft on board.

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