A decommissioned tanker is set to become one of the biggest and most accessible artificial reefs on Florida’s east coast when it is sunk 1.5 miles off Pompano Beach pier near Fort Lauderdale on 23 July.
The 100m Lady Luck will form the centrepiece of “Shipwreck Park” among 16 existing and already-colonised wrecks.
The vessel, currently being prepared, is to be sunk upright in sand at 35m with its highest point 15m from the surface, making it accessible to all levels of diver.
Formerly named Newtown Creek, the vessel was decommissioned by the City of New York before being bought by Shipwreck Park Inc, funded by the City of Pompano Beach and privately by Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park.
Clearly not a subscriber to the “less is more” approach to wreck-diving, Shipwreck Park says the Lady Luck will feature not only rotating art installations but a mocked-up casino with roulette tables, slot machines and “a cascade of giant dice” on deck.
Divers will be able to visit the artificial reef almost immediately after the sinking, with 16 staterooms, captain’s deck, galley and engine-room among the areas that can be viewed.
The new attraction, hoped to draw 35,000 divers a year, will take pressure off the natural coral reefs nearby, says Shipwreck Park. Direct flights from the UK into Fort Lauderdale started last year.
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