Fri, Jul 26, 2019 - Page 6 News List

Fish tanks: Jordan creates sunken military museum

AFP, AQABA, Jordan

A Jordanian Armed Forces armored vehicle lies on the seabed of the Red Sea off the coast of Aqaba as part of a new underwater military museum in a handout photograph issued on Tuesday.

Photo: Reuters

Sunken tanks, a troop carrier and a submerged helicopter: Jordan on Wednesday opened its first underwater military museum off its Red Sea coast.

The kingdom is hoping the 19 decommissioned pieces of military hardware, submerged at depths up to 28m, will attract tourists to the already popular diving resort of Aqaba.

The Underwater Military Museum Dive Site includes several tanks, an ambulance, a military crane, a troop carrier, an anti-aircraft battery, guns and a combat helicopter, the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) said.

The sunken items have been “stationed along the coral reefs imitating a battle tactical formation,” ASEZA said in a statement.

The museum aims to offer a “new type” of experience combining “sports, environment and exhibits” for divers, snorkelers and visitors on glass-bottomed boats, it said.

The launch was marked by a ceremony with music from the Jordanian Armed Forces band and a local folk group, photographers said.

The northern Red Sea is popular with divers attracted by its coral reefs, which are in relatively good health, despite global reef depletion due to climate change.

ASEZA said it had removed “hazardous materials” from the hardware to protect the marine ecosystem.

It said the museum would allow the creation of artificial reefs and promote the recovery of the area’s natural reefs by “drawing visitors away to an alternative site.”

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