The Shark-Airplanes


Beyond The Reef's second major reef- art installation was just sunk in December 2019! 

In total 3 airplanes, (a Bull Shark, Hammerhead & Nurse Shark) were sunk in the beautiful gin-clear waters off of Great Dog Island, BVI in what is known as the "coral gardens".  They currently lie between 40-45 feet and are ready for divers!

The process:

  1. Clean the airplane fuselages of any materials that will be of environmental harm.  This includes removing all interior cushioning, wiring, oil, etc.
  2. Cut the wings off of the planes so that they can be transported on a truck (through town!) to the site where they will be rebuilt.
  3. Rebuild the planes to their former glory including welding on wings and tails and making sure there are no sharp edges for divers.
  4. Add art! Engage the local community in making these a piece of art to be proud of.
  5. Conduct bathymetric surveys to ensure that it is the best possible location for the planes for both diver accessibility and potential for coral growth and juvenile fish habitat. 
  6. Place the airplanes on a barge and tow them to their sink site.
  7. Sink the planes and use the engineering skills of Commercial Dive Services to ensure that they sink upright.
  8. Add ballast to the bottoms of the planes as well as helical anchors to ensure they stay in place for generations to come. 
  9. Make The Planes a BVI attraction for tourism, while simultaneously doing all we can to encourage local youth to get involved in the ocean community and benefit from the the BVI's many ocean-going job opportunities. 
  10. Monitor coral growth and fish populations as they flock to the artificial reef. 

To download our project presentation, please see link below!

Beyond The Reef- Project Presentation (pdf)



In 2017, Hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated the British Virgin Islands, including the legendary floating pirate ship bar known lovingly as the Willy-T. 

To honor its many years as BVI's greatest tourist attraction and bring further attention to the islands long standing pirate history, the sinking of the Willy T will be central to the underwater art exhibit and artificial coral reef that Beyond the Reef is creating. 

The tourism value of a underwater pirate ship such as the Willy T will further the British Virgin Islands long history in the Caribbean as having once been a major shipping port as well as a pirate base. This history has been brought to life through one of the most popular books ever written, “Treasure Island” that is believed to have been written based off of a true story involving a man named Owen Lloyd hiding treasure in the British Virgin Islands hundreds of years ago. This book has since inspired the enormous movie franchise Pirates of the Caribbean, and countless pirate related tourism ventures since then. By playing to this popular history and incorporating sculptures of pirates on the vessel for photo opportunities, we believe that the BVI will capitalize on the new tourism hotspot that will bring people to the BVI while generating money for local charity and further increasing the underwater biological richness of the area. 

Additionally, we plan to continue expanding this underwater art reef to include other derelict materials currently lying abandoned throughout the BVI as a result of Hurricane Irma. Some of these additional materials include parts of airplane fuselages as well as retired airport fire fighting vehicles. 

The restoring and sinking of these additional vehicles would be a win-win for the BVI in that they would be disposed of free of charge and repurposed to an art piece underwater that would generate tourism for the BVI. 

Beyond the Reef intends on taking advantage of the international exposure the wreck site may receive in order to promote local ocean conservation efforts and give a certain portion of every dive back to the children of the BVI for educational programs.  All wrecks are known to attract fish because of their sheltering properties as well as recruit new corals, which will enhance biodiversity in an otherwise barren area of Peter Island where we propose to sink the materials. 

The Willy T in its current resting place

The Willy T in its current resting place