The Kodiak Queen, formerly U.S. Navy barge YO-44, was launched in 1940 as U.S. Navy fuel barge YO-44, and is one of only five ships that survived the Pearl Harbor attack.
After the horrific attack by the Japanese that propelled the United States into World War II, the Kodiak Queen began a new life as a fishing boat. Somehow the ship wound up in the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean and by 2012 it was just a hulk rusting in a junk yard, according to ScubaDiverLife.com
Historian Mike Cochran set up a website to rescue the ship. The site caught the attention of Owen Buggy, a friend of and photographer for Sir Richard Branson, and suggested the ship as an artificial reef. The project soon began.
Sponsoring the endeavor is Project YoKo BVI Art Reef, a collaboration between Sir Richard Branson and other BVI stakeholders. The Kodiak Queen was sunk off the coast of Virgin Gorda in March, wrapped in a giant kraken sculpture, made of rebar and mesh.
WATCH the ship’s amazing transformation.