Lebanese activists sink tanks in Mediterranean Sea to attract divers, create marine habitats

Lebanese environmentalists on Saturday sank 10 old tanks and armoured vehicles to the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea in a novel attempt to attract divers and create new habitats for marine life.
Three km off the coast of the city of Sidon, a huge crane on the back of a ship manoeuvred the military hardware into place over the water before dropping them down to the seabed one after the other.(AFP)
Three km off the coast of the city of Sidon, a huge crane on the back of a ship manoeuvred the military hardware into place over the water before dropping them down to the seabed one after the other.(AFP)
Updated on Jul 28, 2018 11:08 PM IST
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Sidon (Lebanon) | ByPress Trust of India

Lebanese environmentalists on Saturday sank 10 old tanks and armoured vehicles to the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea in a novel attempt to attract divers and create new habitats for marine life.

Three km off the coast of the city of Sidon, a huge crane on the back of a ship manoeuvred the military hardware into place over the water before dropping them down to the seabed one after the other.

The initiative to create an “underwater park” is spearhead by a local group, Friends of the Coast of Sidon, which got the Lebanese army to hand over some of it old vehicles for the project.

“This will be a paradise for divers and a place where we can develop underwater life,” said NGO representative Kamel Kozbar, who hopes seaweed will soon cover the vehicles.

Lebanon boasts some 200 km of Mediterranean coast but beaches have not been spared from a waste and garbage crisis that has plagued Lebanon for years. In Sidon, a mountain of smelly trash has scarred the shoreline, despite the presence of a new waste management facility.

In a region fraught with tensions the latest project also has some political undertones. The tanks have been placed with their turrets facing towards Lebanon’s southern foe Israel “out of solidarity for the Palestinian people”, Kozbar said.

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