Boeing 747 get towed out to sea

Posted by Elise Kirsten on 18 June 2019

A decommissioned Boeing 747 built in 1981 has been towed across the ocean off the coast of Bahrain and sunken so it can form part of a new underwater theme park in the Arabian Gulf which will open in August.

Bahrain hopes this tourist attraction will draw divers from around the world. The 100,000 m2 dive site is situated off Diyar Al Muharraq, a city which spans seven artificial islands.

‘The project is implemented in accordance with best global practices for better environmental sustainability to ensure that tourist activities do not damage the environment or the marine life,’ Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA) said in a press release.

The park won’t be anything like a natural underwater reef and along with the 70m-long Boeing, in the future it will include a replica Bahraini pearl merchant’s house, artificial coral reefs and sculptures.

According to q13fox.com, ‘marine specialist Adriana Humanes, who has a PhD in Marine Ecology from James Cook University, Australia and is currently based at Newcastle University in the UK, said artificial coral reefs are not always ecologically sound.’

Humanes said that the materials that make up a wreck, which provides the structure for artificial reefs, such as copper alloys, steel and aluminium as well as petroleum hydrocarbons ‘can be subject to corrosion, [passing] heavy metals into the seawater and affecting the surrounding marine organisms.’

However, officials say the new attraction adheres to strict environmental standards and will in fact promote the revival of the local ecosystem and marine life growth.

‘All aircraft surfaces will be subjected to a high-pressure wash with bio-friendly detergents to ensure all post-production coatings, oil and grime are removed,’ a spokesperson told CNN Travel.

‘Furthermore, a vast amount of time has been spent removing contaminants from the aircraft. This has included removing all wiring, all hydraulic, pneumatic and fuel systems, and all adhesives, insulation, plastics, rubbers, chemicals or other potential toxic substances.’

 

Featured image: Dive Bahrain

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