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Artificial reef balls containing ashes lowered into the sea off WA coast

Posted December 11, 2015 21:11:43

External Hyperlink: Rest in Reef in Jurien Bay

Australia’s initial artificial reef ball that incorporates cremated remains has been dropped into the ocean off a Mid West town in Western Australia.

The notion began with the Jurien Bay Men’s Shed, which was looking to expand an artificial reef, consisting of concrete balls, that had been laid at the nearby marina three years ago.

More than that time, the reef has attracted far more than 50 species of fish and other sea life, creating a colourful snorkel trail for locals and guests.

Organiser of the project and men’s shed member Ian Stiles said the widow of a past member Ron Sutherland, who died two years ago, requested his ashes somehow be incorporated into one of the concrete reef balls.

Right after a painstaking 18 months, Mr Stiles was able to get the Rest in Reef project approved by State Government and the local council.

“It is been a extended challenging struggle to get this far, fighting bureaucrats and what ever but we’ve been getting a lot of support from local bureaucrats,” Mr Stiles said.

The process requires pouring the ashes into a concrete mixture ahead of setting the mould for two weeks and then dropping the ball from a boat into ocean to be a component of the dive trail.

Ashes inside an artificial reef ball are dropped into the Indian Ocean at Jurien Bay in WA. Photo: The very first Rest in Reef ball, containing the ashes of Ron Sutherland, was dropped into the Jurien Bay marina. (ABC News: Chris Lewis)

Mr Sutherland’s wife Gabie stated it was fitting that her late husband was the initial to have his ashes incorporated into an artificial reef.

“He loved spear fishing, scuba diving, fishing, he had a boat and he’d go out into his boat and his sons would join him,” Ms Sutherland said.

“He loved the fish, the wildlife, the diversity of the ocean, becoming in the water and getting a part of the ocean when he’d be scuba diving.

“I consider he’d be rapt about it if he’d known about it, he’d be really satisfied about it.”

Ron’s son, Ben Sutherland, watched with his mother and two brothers as his father’s reef ball was lowered into the sea this week.

“I went out for a swim about to verify out dad’s new reef ball,” Mr Sutherland said.

“It really is already got some fish swimming around it and I noticed a good baby Baldchin groper … that was 1 of his favourite fish to see when he went scuba diving and look at and comply with around.

“I’d reckon he’d adore it out there actually getting with the fish. That was 1 of his passions.”

The Jurien Bay Men’s Shed has approval for 100 more Rest in Reef balls to extend their artificial reef over the subsequent 3 years.

Mr Stiles said he already has 4 a lot more households with their loved one’s ashes prepared to be incorporated into the reef.

A reef ball in Jurien Bay Photo: A reef ball at Jurien Bay is part of almost 100 other people that have attracted far more than 50 species of fish to the marina. (ABC News: Chris Lewis)

Subjects: death, oceans-and-reefs, jurien-bay-6516

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