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.