GULF SHORES, Ala. (WPMI) A 270 foot freighter purchased by some Gulf Shores businesses will be sunk off the coast of Alabama to become an artificial reef.
Walter Marine spent $500,000 in June 2012 to purchase and sink the M.V. Yokamu. Mac McAleer of Homeport Marina donated $250,000 to become the title sponsor of the reef, naming it "The LuLu" for his friend and business partner, Lucy Buffett.
The ship will be sunk this summer, and could be featured on The Weather Channel's "Reef Wranglers," a new television series set to premier February 12.
The ship's purpose won't just be for fostering sea life in the Gulf of Mexico. Businesses expect it will bring the diving industry to South Alabama.
"It creates a fairly new market for the state of Alabama," Tom Steber of Zeke's Landing Marina said. "The state of Alabama has the largest reef zone in the world, and this will just add to that reef zone."
"It's really an amazing thing for not only the community, but for divers," Lulu's Landing Marketing Director Cindy Pouyadou said. "Whether you're a beginning diver or a seasoned diver, this is going to be perfect for you."
Pouyadou said the location where the ship will be sunk will not be exposed just yet.
The bow of the ship will be removed, and turned into a stage at Lulu's Landing.