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PHUKET: More than 20 decommissioned army trucks were lowered into the water with the aim of enhancing marine life in Phang Nga yesterday.

The project was launched in honor of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit.

“We have placed artificial coral, army vehicles (for coral to grow on) and a statue of a sea turtle in order to revive tourism and marine life in areas that were destroyed in the 2004 Tsunami,” said Rak Khaolak Foundation Chief Sompong Daopiset.

“Our plan is to add more statues in the coming years. These will tell the story of the culture of Phang Nga,” he added.

Fourth Army commander Lt Gen Piyawat Nakwanich presided over the official handover of the vehicles.

“The purpose of this project is to build habitats for local marine life and map the area out as a new snorkeling attraction. I would like to invite the public to visit and help maintain it,” said Gen Piyawat.

Chief Sompong added that the ultimate goal was to make this “museum” one of the “best underwater tourist attractions on earth.”

In recent months, the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources has led initiatives to plant pieces of live natural coral on artificial (concrete) reefs at Koh Mai Thon and Koh Racha Yai (story here).

— Kritsada Mueanhawong