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Northeast Texas Gives New Meaning to Water Park

Updated: Tuesday, July 8 2014, 03:56 PM CDT

One Northeast Texas spot takes the concept of a water park to a whole new level, but don't expect a water slide and lazy river.

From the surface, it looks like an ordinary lake, until you dive deeper. A shipwreck, a plane, a DART bus, it's not the scene of some horrendous accident, but a deliberate effort to form a playgound for scuba enthusiasts. "We have 4 cabin cruisers, we have three sailboats,  75 foot C140 jet star jet, we have a 60 foot Hawker 600 aircraft, we have a boat that came from a film crew of Clint Eastwood," says Athens Scuba Park owner Calvin Wilcher.

And that's not all. The literal underwater park also has 16 speed boats, 9 motor cycles, 14 small fishing boats, basically underwater wrecks for people to explore. All of it is on the bed of a lake that spreads out on eight acres. The Athens Scuba Park is built for both recreation and training. "We use the jet liners and DART bus and other larger wrecks for training. We use airbags and lift them up and move them," says Wilcher.

Believe it or not, it is not easy to sink large items. Wilcher says it takes about 10 weeks to get them to the bottom of the lake. That's because all of the electrical, plumbing and hazardous items are stripped before being dropped.

Still, even the owner's wife is surprised with how many different things the water park has to offer. "I have always said he has more imagination in his finger that most people have in their bodies," she says.

The park is open Wednesday through Sunday. If you already have a scuba license and your own gear, the entry fee is $20. The scuba park also offers lessons and equipment rentals.


Underwater Video of Water Park Courtesy of Athens Scuba Park

Northeast Texas Gives New Meaning to Water Park

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