Normally, when a ship sinks, it's cause for concern. That wasn't the case with The LuLu, a freighter that was purposely sunk in late May 2013 just 17 nautical miles from the shores of Orange Beach. In fact, many people along the Gulf Coast celebrated this sinking, as it marks a new chapter in the world of scuba diving in Alabama and could even be a worthwhile addition to your vacation to the Gulf Coast.
About The LuLu
Originally christened Yokamu, but renamed The LuLu by it's corporate sponsor, this sunken ship represents the first wave of a reef project that aims to attract scuba divers to the Gulf Shores area. The 271-foot freighter is the start of a new diving culture along the Gulf Coast, and anyone from expert divers to novices has the chance to explore this fascinating wreck.
"The sinking of The LuLu has opened a new market for us, spotlighting the beauty and diversity of the nature-related activities that Alabama's Gulf Coast has to offer," said Herb Malone, president of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism. "We're thrilled to embrace this opportunity and welcome diving enthusiasts to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach."
Ideal for experts or beginners
No matter what your scuba diving experience level is, you can certainly appreciate the wonder awaiting underwater at The LuLu. With a unique layout and structure, the LuLu provides a one-of-a-kind place to dive in the Gulf Coast. The ship comes into view almost immediately upon jumping into the water, and divers hit the top of the wreck at just about 50 feet from the surface - a manageable jaunt for anyone scuba diving for the first time. At its deepest, The LuLu sits approximately 115 feet from the surface.
Many operators offer tours of the site, which includes a boat ride out to the location and guidance for beginning divers. Visitors staying at Orange Beach condo rentals will have many opportunities to head out to the site during their stay, as a number of the trips run out from the Orange Beach and Gulf Shores area.
Going under in the Gulf Coast
One of the coolest parts of The LuLu is the marine habitat that forms around its surroundings. Although the wreck was created as an artificial reef by the Alabama Gulf Coast Reef & Restoration Foundation, the creatures that inhabit the ship are very real and will begin to take over the area naturally. Its large cargo area offers plenty of room to swim around, and visitors are able to examine the crevices along the way and check out what kinds of marine life already call the wreck home.
With massive open holds and multiple decks waiting to be explored, The LuLu is a top-notch destination for any traveler vacationing at condos in Gulf Shores. If you like adventure, you will certainly want to visit this exciting new manmade reef.