On a lovely Maui day, everything went as planned and the Carthaginian is now resting in an upright position in 95 feet of water, anchored to a sandy bottom thats devoid of coral reef a half-mile offshore.
Atlantis has incorporated the former Lahaina tourist attraction into its Maui submarine tour 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.
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 repairs.
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 and marine life. The same ecological benefits are expected off Lahaina.