SIDON, Lebanon: Old civil and military aircrafts landed in Sidon’s underwater park Saturday morning to form the largest reef in the Mediterranean basin.
In a new initiative by the Friends of Al-Zireh Island association, six aircrafts, including four civil jets and two military helicopters, and an old car were submerged at the underwater park off of Sidon’s coast at depths ranging between 30 and 32 meters. The new addition makes Sidon’s underwater park, according to its managers, the first and largest reef in the Mediterranean basin, which helps in renewing marine life and attracting tourists and divers.
Artificial reefs are structures, usually steel or concrete, that offer a place for corals and marine invertebrates to shelter and feed. The submerged vehicles will provide a surface for corals to grow on, and a shelter for tiny fish.
The aircrafts were installed in the underwater park with the help of Sidon Municipality and the Lebanese Union of Professional Divers.
The park, established in 2018, initially had six old tanks and four other military vehicles donated by the Lebanese Army.
Kamel Kozbar, chair of Friends of Al-Zireh Island, said he hoped the park would become a destination for Lebanese people and visitors from around the world.
“Sidon this year will also have many visitors and activities,” Kozbar said, adding that sand would be pumped onto the rocky beach of Al-Zireh Island so that it was a safe resort for swimmers and visitors.