Lahaina Sub Tour and Marine Life Enhanced With New Reef

LAHAINA, Maui, Hawaii, Dec. 15 /PRNewswire/ — Following two years of preparation, Atlantis Adventures on Tuesday, Dec. 13, sank the Carthaginian replica whaling ship off Lahaina, Maui, creating an artificial reef that will have lasting marine life benefits and enhance its submarine tour experience.
On a picture perfect, absolutely gorgeous Maui day, everything went as planned and the Carthaginian is now resting in an upright position in 95 feet of water. It’s anchored to a sandy bottom that’s devoid of coral reef a half-mile offshore. Atlantis plans to incorporate the former Lahaina tourist attraction into its Maui submarine tour experience sometime next week, subject to completing safety and training requirements. Jim Walsh, general manager of Atlantis Submarines Maui, said, “We have a wonderful submarine tour and this will make the experience even better, while improving the marine life environment. And for Lahaina, this keeps the Carthaginian here where she belongs.” Atlantis’s Maui submarine tour offers a close-up view of the coastline’s exotic tropical reefs and the frenzy of activity featuring schools of tropical fish of all shapes, sizes and colors. The Carthaginian will only add to the experience. The 97-foot, steel-hulled vessel will develop into a self-sustaining habitat for fish, coral and other marine life. It will also provide a new and interesting site for scuba divers, helping to alleviate overuse of natural reefs along the Lahaina coastline. Its location will have no impact on swimming or surfing. The Lahaina Restoration Foundation sold the Carthaginian to Atlantis in 2003 so it could be used as an artificial reef instead of being scuttled. Originally a German freight carrier before being converted into a tourist attraction in 1973, the rusting vessel needed major repairs. A feasibility study determined a refurbishment was cost-prohibitive and that the Carthaginian would not survive being towed to Honolulu for repair work. Atlantis has enjoyed great success with its artificial reefs created off Waikiki, resulting in a vibrant eco-system supporting all types of indigenous fish, coral, sea turtles, and marine life. The same ecological benefits are expected off Lahaina. Launched in 1991, Atlantis Submarines Maui offers six undersea tours daily. Using the world’s most technologically advanced passenger submarine and equipped with large viewing ports, Atlantis descends to 150 feet off the Lahaina coastline. For more information, visit www.atlantisadventures.com.

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