Brazil’s Navy has sunk the 32,000 tons Sao Paulo some 350 kilometers (2020 miles) off its coast in the Atlantic Ocean, at an approximate depth of 5,000 meters, on Friday February 3,2023.
For a few days now, several environmental groups have expressed concerns regarding what they call a “state-sponsored environmental crime”. In fact, the vessel contains tons of asbestos and other toxic materials – including mercury and PCBs – that should increase marine pollution and therefore largely endanger marine life coastal communities.
Bought from France in 2000, this 1960s warship needed an $80 million refit that was never done by the Brazilian Navy. Since then, the Sao Paulo has experienced multiple breakdowns and accidents jeopardizin its operations at sea. This “planned and controlled sinking”, according to the Brazilian Navy, and its environmental consequences will probably raise a few criticism in the next few months.