Fighter jets being used as artificial reef off Panama City

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Two gutted fighter jets are now at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico off Panama City Beach as part of an artificial reef meant to attract divers and fishermen.

The retired F101 Voodoo fighter jets, sunk Friday, were previously on display at a downtown marina and local college.

Officials and local divers say the jets should lure reef fish including red snapper and will be interesting for even inexperienced divers because they aren't too deep. Dive shop owner Patrick Green says that at 76 feet, the jets make for a perfect, nonchallenging dive.

Boaters gathered to watch the sinking, honking and cheering as the jets were lifted off a barge and suspended above the water before sinking.

Officials also sunk prefabricated concrete reef modules to help attract marine life.

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