Bahrain Breaks Record for Longest Sunken Aircraft, Six Days after Turkey
Following hot on the heels of an Airbus A330 sunk as an artificial reef in Turkey, the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA) announced the successful submersion of its 70m-long decommissioned Boeing 747, the centrepiece of an upcoming underwater theme park set to open in August 2019.
Located off the north coast of mainland Bahrain, 30km from the Amwaj islands, the underwater Jumbo sits in approximately 20m of water. It is hoped that the aircraft and theme park will become an international diving attraction in Bahrain, fostering new coral growth and providing a safe haven for marine life. More items are set to be fabricated and submerged alongside the plane to boost the Kingdom's eco-tourism sector, including a 900 sq m traditional Bahraini pearl merchant’s house.
According to an official BTEA press release, a specialist team has worked to ensure the project is strictly compliant with international environmental and safety standards, by 'dismantling and reassembling the aircraft’s wings, removing wires, hydraulic, aerial and fuel systems, adhesive, plastic, rubber, chemical materials. Fully decontaminated from all toxic substances, every effort has been taken to limit the project’s environmental footprint and to ensure delivery in the most environmentally sound manner, working in favour of wildlife preservation and research into marine ecology.'
The Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism and chairman of BTEA board, HE Zayed bin Rashid Al Zayani, said: 'We are proud to launch this unique eco-friendly project in partnership with local diving companies, the Supreme Council for Environment and the private sector. The new theme park will undoubtedly emerge as a global tourist attraction. The world-class project covers an extensive area, and will provide an unforgettable experience for both tourists and diving enthusiasts alike.'
The sinking means that Bahrain is now home to the longest underwater aircraft sunk as an artificial reef, a record previously held for just six days, after Turkey's 65m-long Airbus A330 was sunk on 14 June.