Tanker to be sunk to form artificial reef in Pompano Beach

POMPANO BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A tanker will be submerged in order to jump start a coral reef in Pompano Beach.

Lady Luck will soon become Pompano Beach’s first ever artificial reef. “This is awesome. This has been a long time coming,” said Tom DiGiorgio of Economic Development Counsel.

The vessel is scheduled to be sunk in 120 feet deep waters, a mile off Pompano Beach, Saturday. “This is going to be an incredible reef. It’s gonna be an incredible wreck,” DiGiorgio said. “I think we are going to cause people to get certified because of this underwater art exhibit that we are creating.”

Lady Luck served as a 16 room casino and will serve as a good spot for divers. “This, we believe, will be the first ever full casino sunk, near the shore,” Rob Wyre, the Vice President of Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park. “She will be a spectacular dive because of everything you see around us, aside from the art.”

Dennis MacDonald is the artist who transformed the ship into a casino. “I used recycled material that I got off the ship,” he said. “So, as they were cleaning off the ship, I was taking bits and pieces and fashioning it into the essence of a slot machine.”

You’ll find card sharks at a poker table, an eight-armed dealer and a number of slot machines. “Those were intended to be photo opportunities, so when the divers dive the site, they’ll be able to have their photos taken of what I think are some pretty whimsical and fanciful characters,” he said.

The ship is coming from New York City — with a price tag of $100,000. It was purchased by the city and by Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park. The shipwreck park group worked for months to create something the public can all soon enjoy.

“It will be a habitat,” Wyre said. “It’s out in the open, and it will be in use for many years to come.”

Lady Luck will be going in the water at 2 p.m., Saturday. You should be able to see the entire event from the Pompano Beach pier.

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