They denounce that Brazil will sink an old aircraft carrier with toxic materials in the Atlantic Ocean

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The old 266-meter-long vessel is full of asbestos, paint and other toxic waste, according to several environmental organizations

They denounce that Brazil will sink an old aircraft carrier with toxic materials in the Atlantic Ocean

The Brazilian aircraft carrier Sao Paulo is seen in this undated image. Brazilian Navy/Handout via REUTERS

The Brazilian authorities decided to sink the old aircraft carrier “Foch”, a jewel of the French Navy that passed in 2000 into the hands of&nbsp ;Brazil and was out of service wandering for months in search of a port of permanence, military sources said Thursday.

The decision is controversial: the old 266-meter vessel long is full of asbestos, paint and other toxic waste, according to various environmental organizations.

“Given the risk involved the trailer and due to the deterioration of buoyancy conditions (…) the&nbsp “The only possible course of action is to abandon the hull through a planned and controlled sinking,” the Navy and the Brazilian Ministry of Defense explained in a joint statement on Wednesday night.

“A spontaneous sinking” of the hull was inevitable, they added.

Two weeks ago, the Brazilian Navy announced that it was mooring the ancient vessel at a point in the Atlantic Ocean  , 315 kilometers from the country's coast. However, it clarified that it would not authorize their return to a port or territorial waters of Brazil.

Brazil will sink an old aircraft carrier with toxic materials in the Atlantic Ocean

The Brazilian aircraft carrier Sao Paulo is seen in this brochure photo, June 7 Brazilian Navy/Handout via REUTERS/ATTENTION

Several NGOs had then expressed their fear that Brazil would commit “a great environmental crime in the sea”. The Robin des Bois association described the old vessel as “a toxic package of 30,000 tons”.

Built in the 1950s in Saint-Nazaire, in the&nbsp ;western France, the “Foch”, which for 37 years was in the service of the French Navy, was brought to the point where it will be sunk by a Dutch tugboat, contracted by the shipyard Turkish Sok Denizcilik.

The shipyard had bought it in 2021 to scrap it but threatened to abandon it if it did not find a port that would receive it.

In June 2022, it obtained authorization from the Brazilian authorities to transport it to Turkey for scrapping. But, when he was off the Strait of Gibraltar, at the end of August, the Turkish environmental authorities announced that he was no longer welcome.

The Brazilian Prosecutor's Office had tried to legally prevent the Navy from sinking the vessel, but its request was denied this Wednesday by a court in the state of Pernambuco (northeast).

The former glory of the French Navy, capable of of catapulting 12 to 15 ton aircraft at a take-off speed of 278 kilometers per hour, had been acquired by Brazil in 2000, which renamed it “Sao Paulo”.

< i>With information from EFE

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