There Are Still At Least 24 Volvos Submerged In A Canadian Harbor

Some say 24, others 26, while the Bedford Institute of Oceanography mentions 32. But whichever is correct, here's how a bunch of Volvos ended up on the bottom of Bedford Basin in Halifax, Canada.

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The only thing for sure is that the cars are there, and they are also about 200 feet deep, making it rather difficult to take a closer look. But some have.

Ask the locals, and you'll hear at least two versions of this story. I start with the one which I believe is less likely to be true.

According to that, a cargo ship in 1969 bearing a name long forgotten transporting Volvos either sunk in Badford Basin, or sustained serious water damage during a storm. If we go with sinking, it continues with the wreckage later being removed from the busy shipping line with the cars falling out of it during the operation. If there was such a ship, it should be on this list, but I don't see any recorded incident at the time in that area.

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The water damage theory is much more likely to be true, although opinions differ on whether the cargo was dumped in the sea with or without permission after it got soaked in salty water. Expect that the incident most likely didn't happen in 1969.

Based on the 2010/July issue of Trident Magazine (The Newspaper of Maritime Forces Atlantic Since 1966), the understanding of LCdr Roland Leyte, Commanding Officer of the Canadian Navy Divers was that a container ship in the eighties didn't have the correct papers for the shipment of the Volvos, so "they dumped perfectly good cars in the middle of the Bedford Basin".

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Whichever version is the correct one, the Bedford Institute of Oceanography reported that there were 32 automobiles down there in 2002. The sonogram from the 2008 edition of The Geological Survey of Canada also talks about "discarded Volvos", and puts their number at 26.

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Of course these 24/26/32, but most definitely not let's say 29 Volvos are far from being the only ones that took a dive for good.

Back in 2002, the MV Tricolor sunk in the English Channel with the load of nearly 3,000 cars (1,800 Volvos) after colliding with the Kariba, a Bahamian-flagged container ship. I'm sure you all remember seeing those cars sew in half.

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But dedicated fans of rusty Swedish steel should also make a trip to Cyprus, where the MS Zenobia went down in 1979 after capsizing on her maiden voyage full of Volvo and Scania trucks that were headed for Africa. The captain's Lada didn't make it either.

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Photo credit: Vintage Halifax, Canada Geological Survey.

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