(D by google)
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||Arcachon Bay is
located on the Atlantic coast, South West of France, 80km
(50miles) from Bordeaux.
The CHARIOT is a wreck which lies off the Arcachon Bay, at
about 3 km (1.6 n.mile) from the coast.
It's a very nice dive. The wreck is a weird submarine machine, used for
sea bed works, which is there since the early 70's.
There is a shoal of hundreds of bib as
well as tenths of conger eels and large numbers of bass that make the
wreck its home .
A diver can focus
only on dense fixed fauna
and flora during the dive and that's not due to
nitrogen narcosis: the wreck is only 30
metres (98ft) deep.
Too nice to be true? Well actually there are sometimes some
difficulties: they are named les
These narrow channels are the only way to go out of the bay and reach
the sea. They can be dangerous and conditions at sea have to be
perfect to avoid any risk. Sometimes the boat has to return after a
cancelled dive, but at least there are nice beaches in the
to spend some good time.
V I N G C E N T R E S
I S T O R Y
the beginning was a decision to
create a sewerage system around the Arcachon bay.
Inland construction site 1968 -
was to build a 30 km pipe in order to avoid the sewage of a paper
factory to be rejected into the bay. Then the sewage
driften to a beach called La Salie and
rejected directly to the ocean.
Offshore Underwater work
1970 - 1972
German company Rudolf HARMSTORF - Wasserbau GmbH was
selected in 1970.
The job was to embed a sewage pipe 5500m off the coast and to connect
a diffuser-pipe, a 200 meter long steel pipe with holes to
the sewage water of Arcachon.
The sewage pipe made of high density polyethylene was 1.20m diameter
and embedded 2m under sea bed which is 25 to 30 metres deep.
embedding was based on patented Hydrojet-Injektor technology. Primarily
a water jetting device excavate a narrow but deep trench for
the pipes; moving forward it fluidized the soil while
the pipe which leaves the Injektor foot at the rear end.
The Injektor in the Arcachon project was installed on a subsea-sled now
called Le CHARIOT (see also"Some technical details").
long period of strong gale and a state of high sea prevented the
embedding of the sewage water pipes.Two diffuser-pipes were
Embeddment schedule was delayed.
the work, at least 4 serious diving accidents occurred, 2 of them were
solidarity network for a diver...carried
by boat, a paralysed
diver in decompression chamber
to be evacuated by plane to hospital..."
the diffuser pipe was not installed yet. The upcoming of smelly
foams at La Salie beach in 1971 provoked strong reactions and also
became a place for... Sunday promenade!
the construction site was predicted to end soon...
"...Harmstorf company prepared for second round..."
Salie beach: it is almost finished..."
the begining of 1972, the end of the work is in sight. Dollar
devaluation and Mark revaluation will have an unexpected consequence
for HARMSTORF: the company got bankrupt. At the same moment the company
was involved in a big construction site in Bremen and had to face huge
in Anchorage Alaska.
"...Harmstorf get bankrupt..."
the embedding had to stop 3 km off the coast, and finally the sled (Le
Chariot) was left at this position... for the pleasure of today's
divers and fishermen.
new solution had to be found. It was a different system: a wharf.
wharf is a pier holding the
above the water
rather than below. It
is 800m long and is made of 1.50m diameter pipes. It is on
duty since April 1974.
of towns situated around the bay are now collected after treatment and
brought to the wharf by
a 65 km pipe.
The continuous water treatment
are facing increased concerns about environment.
An interesting debate can be followed (in French) on the
O M E T E C H N I C A L D E T
A I L S
h a n k s
e f e r e n
c e s
"Danke" to Heinz Harmstorf for documentation, to his father Rudolf who
let us a so nice wreck.
Special thanks to Gérald
PUEL with who I made my first dive in 1998 on
what was then
called "la chenillette"
Intercommunal du Bassin d'Arcachon (SIBA)
départementale de la Gironde
la mairie de
Dépêche du Bassin newspaper
Géoportail and Earth Google
Thanks to link this page if you use some piece of information
|Found my English a
bit...weird ? E-mail me, I will correct ;-) @