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Soviet-era submarine to be used as dive reef

A Soviet-era submarine on display at the San Diego Maritime Museum will join the HMCS Yukon as a dive reef off Mission Bay, it was announced Friday.

An agreement in principle to sink the B-39 Foxtrot sub was reached this week between officials with the museum, the owners of the vessel and California Ships to Reefs, an organization which seeks out surplus ships to use as artificial reefs for diving and fishing.

“We anticipate sinking the sub in San Diego’s wreck alley, where the HMCS Yukon is already a popular attraction and beautiful artificial reef,” said Joel Geldin, CSTR’s chairman and chief executive officer.

“We are proud to announce this new agreement on the 10th anniversary of the sinking of the Yukon, which has proven the economic and environmental value of man-made reefs,” he said.

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It wasn’t immediately clear when the Foxtrot, which has been in the museum’s fleet since 2004, would be sunk.

The 300-foot long diesel-electric submarine served for 20 years during the 1970s and 80s to track U.S. and NATO shipping, according to the museum. It was one of the longest conventional subs ever built.

The B-39 was decommissioned in 1994 and sold to a private group a year later.