New underwater attractions will soon be admired by divers visiting the British Virgin Islands. Three shark-shaped planes and a former pirate ship are being sunk to create an artificial reef that should boost biodiversity in the area.
The idea came from Beyond the Reef, a team of people from all walks of life united by their love for the environment. Their goal is to generate tourism in Peter Island, while simultaneously getting the local youth involved in the ocean community.
The legendary wreck named Wally T, a former floating pirate ship bar and restaurant, has already been sunk. The presence of the ship underwater should not only create an artificial coral reef but also keep the island’s long-standing pirate history alive. Numerous props such as Captain Hook and the skeleton mermaid have been placed on the ship, and should provide some unique photo opportunities for the divers.
Moving forward, three disused airplanes will also be sunk as artificial reef. Two of the wrecks were damaged in Hurricanes Irma and Maria, while a third one was the result of a plane crash. The planes have been stripped of any environmentally harmful materials and creatively turned into “sharks” with the help of the local community. They will be given a new life underwater and in return, they’ll provide shelter to the marine creatures populating the waters.
And the efforts of Beyond the Reef won’t stop here. The group will monitor the coral growth and marine life, as wrecks are known to attract various species of fish. Furthermore, the tour operators in the area have agreed to raise donations from the wreck divers, money that will be used to give back to the community and the environment.