On Sunday, January 15, Destin officials started a unique venture of creating an artificial reef from a 180-ft-long retired research ship in Okaloosa.
The ship name MANTA was sunk 1000 ft into the Gulf of Mexico seafloor by Destin officials who said that they are trying to reuse rusting ships by making an artificial reef out of it.
So instead of scrapping the vessel, it is cleaned and sunk in the ocean, a feat witnessed by 40 people on a charter boat.
Source: WMBB News 13/ YouTube
The crowd loved watching it, especially the unique sounds that came from sinking the ships and air bubbles created as the ship sank, revealed Vivienne Williams, Executive Director of Destin History and Fishing Museum.
With this, Okaloosa County now has another artificial reef, the second largest one, which would be a great deep-sea diving attraction for tourists and a suitable habitat for fish.
Officials are planning another shipwreck deep sea destination southeast of MANTA where they would sink DOLPHIN, another research ship.
References: WJTV, WHNT