Home Spot Light Artificial Reef with a difference!

Artificial Reef with a difference!

One of the ships, the Million Hope, was first on the list to be salvaged from the waters of the Red Sea. With the aid of some quick thinking from James Tunney, College Staff and the help of Dr. Mohammed, permission to carry out coral grafts from the ship has been obtained. The grafts will be placed within the confined area in front of the college to give the corals a new home!

The new homes are metal constructions that the coral will be attached to in order to promote growth. Of course, the structures will in themselves create a new reef habitat, giving shelter to fish life and encouraging the growth of coral on its struts as the coral spawning season begins. In typical College style, not any old structures would do. Newly placed in up to 16m of water, within the reach of open water divers using the bay, there is a massive dolphin, a globe, a ship complete with anchor and a pyramid as a memorial to the legendary Dave the Turtle.

These metal sculptures will act as the ideal hosting ground for the existing life in the bay as well as the coral grafts when they arrive.

Built locally in Sharm El Sheikh, the structures raised a few eyebrows in transit, the security guards in Naama Bay not really sure what to make of the delivery, and explanations seemingly beyond translation!

At the beach, a group of kids quickly gathered and were a little upset that their temporary climbing frames were removed, but the job had to carry on.
Due to a large Technical course being underway at the College, the supply of lift bags was severely limited, and bcds were used as an alternative measure to transport the items once in the water.

With the college instructors in full swing, led skilfully by the ever reliable Hooch, it didn't take long for one to take the opportunity of a quick break, and place himself in the driving seat of the ship while everyone else built up a sweat in the 31 degree water. The boat seemed particularly at home, its dynamics meant it naturally descended into a perfect position.

Hopefully, weather conditions will soon permit the trip to the Million Hope and the reefs can begin fulfilling their environmental purpose, rather than just giving aesthetic pleasure, as soon as possible.
Within a day of the initial installation, the reef had already attracted some inhabitants, the open structure giving shelter to some of the juveniles from the bay, who seem more than happy with their new residence.


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Sam Kirby is the Regional Manager for PADI International Ltd with responsibility for Egypt, Eastern Europe, Wales and Scotland. A former Instructor

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