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This past weekend, a ship was sank in Pompano Beach, Florida, with the goal of giving SCUBA divers the chance to dive down and check out an artfully crafted casino that sits on her deck.
The ship is known as Lady Luck, but formerly served as the Newton Creek. Looking to boost visitors to the area, the Economic Development Council of Pompano Beach decided to sink a ship to create an artificial coral reef for visitors to explore. About 300 boats watched the ship's sinking, which took a full 2 hours longer than expected.
The Lady Luck's deck has been built to resemble an aquatic casino, complete with blackjack tables, slot machines, dice, and more. It is hoped that sealife such as coral, fish, and sharks will all congregate around the ship. The wreck is expected to draw in roughly 35,000 divers each year, which will help the local economy.
Commenting on the sinking, project artist Dennis MacDonald said, "I think it went down just the way that we wanted. It was incredibly beautiful."
Tom DiGiorgio of the Economic Development Council of Pompano Beach also commented on the project, noting: "There are lots of ships that are sunk, but this will be the only one that is truly interactive and with artwork on it. It's going to help the hotels, the restaurants and the ancillary effect is going to ripple out for years to come."
As expected, the visibility of the wreck was not good immediately after sinking, as air bubbles and debris were stirred up when the ship hit the seabed. That should abate soon though, making the site a good spot to explore.
Those interested in checking out the site for the wreck can do so here.