Naval ships scuttled for diving tourists in the Algarve

Two warships have been

deliberately sunk off the coast of the Algarve. Huge jets of flame heralded the

final moments of the Portuguese frigate Oliveira e Carmo and patrol craft

Zambeze as they began their journeys to the seabed 30 metres below.

Both vessels had been

thoroughly cleaned to remove contaminants, and were filled with several hundred

tons of concrete to ensure that they sank in the intended attitude. A

hydrographic survey ship and a second frigate will follow them to the bottom

next year to complete the Ocean Revival underwater park, which will be the

largest single artificial reef structure in the world.

The park is located about

three miles off Alvor, west of Portimao, and is intended to promote underwater tourism

in the region by creating an exceptional diving destination.