Divers, snorkelers submerge for reef music festival

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BIG PINE KEY, Fla. (AP) -- About 400 divers and snorkelers have submerged in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary for a local radio station's broadcast beneath the sea advocating reef preservation.

Saturday's Lower Keys Underwater Music Festival at Looe Key Reef, part of the world's third largest living coral barrier reef, featured four hours of music custom programmed by WWUS for subsea listening.

The aquatic-focused playlist included the theme from the "Little Mermaid," the Beatles' "Octopus's Garden" and even "Jaws," just to get participants' attention, according to event co-creator Bill Becker.

Music was transmitted via waterproof speakers hung from boats.

Several divers were costumed, including two mermaids and a Sponge Bob cartoon character. Others pretended to play a local artist's sculpted musical instruments.

The commercial-free broadcast included public service announcements promoting coral reef conservation.

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