A C-130 Hercules military aircraft has been scuttled off Aqaba, Jordan to create a new artificial reef for divers in the Gulf of Aqaba on the Red Sea.
The Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority, in cooperation with the Royal Jordanian Navy and the Aqaba Port Corporation, sank the plane today (November 16, 2017) approximately 300m off the coast.
The C-130 Hercules now lies at a depth of around 17m. Over time, it will become an artificial reef that attracts fish, coral and other marine species as well as divers from all over the world. The C-130 Hercules’s proximity to the M42 Duster tank wreck also makes it a premiere dive location in the Gulf of Aqaba.
Before the sinking, Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority removed all fuel, oil, paint and hazardous materials from the aircraft in order to comply with environmental best practice. The aircraft was towed from the Royal Jordanian Air Force’s headquarters in Amman to Aqaba, to be repurposed for its new life as an artificial reef.
“The entire marine ecosystem benefits from creating an artificial reef like the C-130 Hercules,” said H.E. Mr. Sharhabeel Madi Commissioner of Tourism and Economic Affairs. “Whenever we are able to add a new structure like this, the whole area benefits from the added habitat and species diversity.”
A Scubaverse contributor attended today’s historic event alongside international media and dive operators so check back next week for more on this story.