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Aqaba: The Scuttling of a Lockheed L-1011 Tristar Plane



On Monday 26th August I had the opportunity to join other journalists from around Europe and the world as The Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) scuttled a Lockheed L-1011 Tristar to create a new artificial reef in the waters of the Red Sea.

The day started with an 8.30am pick up from the hotel in Aqaba for a short drive to the marina. We would then board a boat which took us to the scuttling event a short 15 minute boat journey away. Here we got our first glimpse of the large aircraft gleaming white under the morning sun. While there was a ceremony and crowds on the nearby pier we had the opportunity to witness the scuttling from the comfort of the boat with the added bonus of refreshments onboard.

The Tristar was scuttled next to the King Abdullah Reef dive site, adjacent to the Aqaba Container Terminal. Initially the whole process started slowly as care was taken to ensure it would sink evenly before it’s final destination on the sea floor. The proposed site is a sloping sandy bottom where the plan was for the nose of the plane to sit in water around 15 metres deep while the tail end sloped down to around 28 metres.

As the floats were slowly removed from underneath the plane there was a slight concern from a few of us onboard when the left wing descended first. The right wing raised above the water line, seemingly in a desperate bid to cling to life on land a little longer.

I’m sure this was just an onlooker’s concern and the people involved in the scuttling were more than comfortable with the way things were going. Sure enough, after a slow start to proceedings and 2 hours or so since we first arrived at the site, the sinking process took a rapid turn and soon enough the whole of the Tristar was disappearing under the surface.

As the tip of the tail fin of this huge Lockheed Tristar plane disappeared. We were treated to the full repertoire of the boat symphony of the onlooking boats. The bellowing of the horns and sirens through the air changed what was up until that point a strangely calm event. Cannons of water sprayed from the safety tug boats as the celebration was in full swing.

I was already looking forward to getting chance to dive this new unique dive site and see what adventures await divers looking for a new experience in the Red Sea.

Visit for more information.

Sean Chinn’s scuba diving adventure started in a freezing cold quarry back in January 2011. Maybe the reason he wasn't instantly hooked! However, after an amazing trip to Indonesia in 2013, he realised he needed to see more of the underwater world. With no photography background, he enlisted some help in developing both his diving and photo skills. This kickstarted his diving and underwater photography adventure which has become something of an addiction. Seeing and photographing wildlife is Sean’s real passion in diving but he is always keen to try new ideas.


Diving below the waves of the Western Cape, South Africa – Windmill Beach (Watch Video)



Head under the waves of False Bay and explore the incredible diversity that is found along the Western Cape. The bay has popular dive spots from diving amongst the biodiverse underwater kelp forests to jumping in with the playful and friendly cape fur sealions (Arctocephalus pusillus). The bay along with the rest of the South Africa coast is known for the range of shark species that are found from the shallow coastal shores out into the open oceans. The coast is also home to numerous endemic shark species such as puffadder shyshark (Haploblepharus edwardsii) and Pyjama shark.

Situated a short drive out of Simonstown is the shore dive at Windmill beach. A short swim over the sand and through the large boulders you enter the incredibly diverse and colourful kelp forests (Ecklonia maxima), a species that can grow up to 12m tall. Life is found in abundance from the base of the kelp where many sea urchins and species such as abalone can be seen then heading into the canopy many shoaling fish species can be observed.

Diving with the local dive club – Cape Town Dive Centre.

Follow Jake aka JD Scuba on the YouTube channel @Don’t Think Just Blog.

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Gear News

Fourth Element to make diving tools from recycled PPE



Fourth Element has partnered with recycling and repurposing experts, Waterhaul, to retask the mask; turning single-use plastics into the tools we use in pursuit of underwater adventure. Face masks and other items of PPE from hospitals are melted down into blocks, sterilising the material which fourth element purchases, recycle and transforms.

These cave line markers are the first of what fourth element hopes will be many products using this waste material to give it a new life beyond protecting the lives of our frontline healthcare workers. Each marker re-uses the equivalent of two disposable masks. Waste is given a new direction.

The end product is completely safe. The PPE is heat treated by the hospital: the plastic is heated to high temperatures multiple times; first to make the blocks within the recycling process, and also whilst injection moulding the parts.

What makes this OceanPositive?

In the UK alone, 58 million single-use plastic face masks are thrown away every day, littering landfills and polluting the environment. Globally, we use 129 billion per month – that’s enough to wrap around the world 550 times! Over the last 12 months, a recorded 1.5 billion have entered the ocean, disrupting our ecosystem and endangering marine life across the globe. And that’s just what has been recorded.

These lines markers are made from recycled PPE, each one saving two masks from entering landfill or our oceans. Part of fourth element’s Zero Waste and Zero Plastic initiatives; to re-purpose as much plastic as possible and find new uses for products at the end of their lives.

We believe that this is the way,” said Jim Standing, co-founder of fourth element. “We are all going to have to tackle the challenges of a post covid world and one of these will be how we deal with the waste we have created as part of keeping ourselves and in particular, our frontline workers protected. We intend to play our part.”

For more information visit the Fourth Element website by clicking here.

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Explore the amazing triangle of Red Sea Reefs - The Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone on board the brand new liveaboard Big Blue.  With an option to add on a week at Roots Red Sea before or after. 

Strong currents and deep blue water are the catalysts that bring the pelagic species flocking to these reefs. The reefs themselves provide exquisite homes for a multitude of marine life.  The wafting soft corals are adorned with thousands of colourful fish. The gorgonian fans and hard corals provide magnificent back drops, all being patrolled by the reef’s predatory species.

£1475 per person based on double occupancy.  Soft all inclusive board basis, buffet meals with snacks, tea and coffee always available.  Add a week on at Roots Red Sea Resort before or after the liveaboard for just £725pp.  Flights and transfers are included.  See our brochure linked above for the full itinerary.

This trip will be hosted by The Scuba Place.  Come Dive with Us!

Call 020 3515 9955 or email

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