Jumbo Jet Is The Main Attraction in Artifical Reef Theme Park for Divers
The Kingdom of Bahrain is to sink a Boeing 747 'Jumbo' jet airliner as part of an underwater theme park to attract divers to the island state.
Following in the footsteps of Jordan, which sank a C-130 Hercules in 2017, and Turkey, which sank an Airbus A300 in 2016 (and a Turkish Air Force C47 Dakota plane in 2008). Scuba diving is a popular activity in Bahrain, but most tourists visit from the neighbouring Arab states, and the kingdom remains relatively untapped by Europeans as a destination.
The 70m-long airliner will form the centrepiece of what will be, with an area of 100,000 sqm, the largest underwater theme park in the world. The 20m deep park will contain a replica of a Bahraini pearl merchant's house which will become an 'experimental' coral nursery, plus other structures (as yet unnamed) that will be designed with extensive surface areas to promote the growth of marine life, especially oysters, for which the region is famous. The theme park is also being presented as a 'live lab' for university students.
According to a press release from the Supreme Council for the Environment, 'the project was designed to have a positive impact on the marine life within the park and every effort has been taken to limit the project’s environmental footprint.' and 'rigorous field investigations were done during the stage of choosing the project site so as to avoid naturally ecological sensitive sites.'
The 747 itself has been 'stripped of all wiring, hydraulic, pneumatic and fuel systems, plus all adhesives, insulation, plastics, rubbers, chemicals or other potentially toxic substances,' and will be subject to a high-pressure wash with bio-friendly detergents before it is submerged.
The park is expected to open with the sinking of the 747 this summer, with work continuing as more structures are fabricated and submerged.