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Florida wreck to become art gallery again




The wreck of the USNS Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg in Florida’s Key West will once again be transformed into one of the longest underwater art galleries, as world-renowned artist Andreas Franke will display 12 pieces of art on the wreck.

In 2011, the Austrian commercial and modern artist and photographer attached 12 images to the 510-foot World War II-era ship. The pieces stayed on the ship for several months and transformed from their time under water. Also, the work was later shown in 2013 at the Studios of Key West for an exhibition.

On April 1, Franke and a group of divers will begin attaching his “Stavronikita” series, originally exhibited on the wreck of the SS Stavronikita off Bridgetown in Barbados. The process should take about two days to complete, Franke said.

The images, which Franke described as Baroque in nature, have never been shown in the United States before.

There will also be land-based exhibits of the work before it appears on the Vandenberg and after it is brought back to the surface.

The series will be exhibited before being deployed in its original state at both the History of Diving Museum in Islamorada on the 30th March and then at a yet-to-be-announced location on the 31st March, according to Capt. Joe Weatherby, an organiser of the sinking of the Vandenberg and the art project.

Organisers of the event have invited all Key West boats and divers to accompany and photograph the pieces as they are attached to the wreck.

Franke’s work will be brought up to the surface in late July, again accompanied by a large contingent of scuba divers, Weatherby said. The 12 images will then be dried and sealed. There will be an after-opening of the images at the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary’s Eco-Discovery Center in Key West, following which the images will remain on exhibit for approximately six months.

“One of the most interesting aspects of the project is to watch the transformation of the art while it is underwater,” Franke said. “It is interesting to see the clear artwork turn into a truly unique piece of art.”

Information about the art project can be found at


Photo: Andreas Franke



Jeff chats to… Christopher Bartlett, MD of Indigo Safaris, about scuba diving and safaris in Africa (5 of 5)



In the last in this exclusive series of five videos, Jeff Goodman, Scubaverse Editor-at-Large, chats to Christopher Bartlett, Managing Director of Indigo Safaris, about their diving and wildlife adventures, and four of their top destinations. In this episode Christopher talks about Africa.

For more information, please visit

Rather listen to a podcast? Click on this link to listen HERE.

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PADI makes a splash at Palma International Boat Show



PADI created a buzz at the recent Palma International Boat Show in Mallorca where a real-life PADI branded mermaid engaged exhibitors and guests to showcase their PADI Open Water Diver and PADI Mermaid Courses.

The Palma International Boat Show, a prominent event in the yachting and boating industry, witnessed an impressive gathering of 271 participating companies, alongside a stunning display of 252 boats at sea. Drawing an enthusiastic audience, more than 32,000 people attended the show, setting the stage for PADI to captivate a diverse range of individuals with their mesmerising mermaid concept.

Over the course of two days, the enchanting mermaid made an eye-catching appearance, gracefully circulating among attendees while distributing flyers highlighting the PADI courses. As the summer season approaches, this interactive approach aimed to create awareness and generate interest in PADI’s Open Water Diver and PADI Mermaid courses, inviting water enthusiasts of all ages to explore the wonders of the underwater world.

“Our presence at the Palma International Boat Show allowed us to engage with a wide range of yachting and water sports enthusiasts,” said Josep Lluís Massuet, PADI EMEA Regional Manager, Spain.

“By featuring our PADI branded mermaid, we aimed to capture attention, spark curiosity, and promote our courses that empower individuals to begin their underwater adventures, explore and save the ocean.”

The PADI branded mermaid at the Palma International Boat Show served as a symbol of adventure and environmental stewardship, embodying PADI’s commitment to seek adventure and save the ocean.

For more from PADI, please visit

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