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    Gutted Fighter Jets Become Reefs

    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

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    Two gutted fighter jets recently became part of an innovative artificial reef program off the Panama City Beach coastline.

    Two gutted fighter jets recently became part of an innovative artificial reef program off the Panama City Beach coastline.


    "It's better than Christmas." [Via WMBB]

    "Two F-101 Voodoo Air Force fighter jets that were on display for many years in Panama City make their way to their final resting place." [Via WMBB]

    They’re resting at the bottom of Gulf of Mexico and will hopefully attract divers and fishermen, once they begin luring fish. Prior to their underwater home, the retired F101 Voodoo fighter jets had been on display at a Florida-based marina and a college.

    However construction work at both locations meant the jets had to go. Bay County Commissioner Bill Dozier explained that officials decided to use the planes rather than scrap them.

    Dozier was one of the bystanders who watched the gutted jets being lowered into the water, about 76 feet down on June 27th. Scott Jackson with the University of Florida IFAS Extension Florida Sea Grant program remarked “We saw the chance to look at the jets as a way to keep them here in Bay County.... Barracuda might be some of the first explore, after that bait fish looking for a safe haven from predators will start to come.”

    It will take anywhere from 3 to 5 years for the planes to resemble natural reefs, but the jets will be productive habitats for up to 3 decades.